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Today and Tomorrow

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR—W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary
WOMEN S BUREAU—Mary Dublin Keyserling, Director



Today and Tomorrow
Bulletin No. 289

W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary

Mary Dublin Keyserling, Director
Washington : 1964

The Women’s Bureau acknowledges with appreciation the assist­
ance rendered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and also by the Office
of Manpower, Automation, and Training and Bureau of Employment
Security of the Manpower Administration, as well as the contributions
made by schools, associations, and unions.
This bulletin was prepared by Janice N. Hedges under the direc­
tion of Rose Terlin, Chief of the Branch of Employment Opportuni­
ties, and Jean A. Wells, Deputy Chief of the Division of Economic
Status and Opportunities, of which Mary N. Hilton is Chief.
Picture credits:
Figures 1 and 3—National Urban League
Figure 2—National Association of Educational Secretaries
Figure 4—Allan J. de Lay
Figure 5—Remington Rand Office Systems
Figure 6—International Business Machines Corporation
Figure 7—Del Ankers
Figure 8—Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, Va.
Figure 9—Strayer Junior College, Washington, D.C.
Figure 10—The President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped

United States Government Printing Office, Washington : 1964

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, TJ.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C., 20402 - Price 35 cents


Clerical jobs have been the subject of a number of Women’s Bureau
publications. The Bureau’s first study in this field dates back 40 years
to another generation of office workers. Its continuing interest in
these occupations is natural, for clerical work has offered employment
since the turn of this century to millions of women, and is today the
largest field for women.
Clerical workers still carry on many of the same basic functions
they have performed since the beginning of recordkeeping. They
record, classify, file, compute, and communicate. But there is a con­
tinual change going on in the nature of their duties. At present the
pace of change is rapid as technological advances make inroads on
some types of office jobs and create others. This is, therefore, a par­
ticularly appropriate time to reexamine the clerical field, highlighting
the changes in demand, duties, and preparation.
The need for a new appraisal of clerical occupations is reinforced
by the life pattern of today’s women. The number of women who
work and the years they work have increased until virtually all girls
can expect to hold a paying job, many of them for a significant part of
their lives. A larger number of these girls will find employment in
clerical jobs than in any other field. It is important for them to be
informed of the different clerical jobs available so that they will be
better able to find positions which match their abilities and interests.
And in this period of rapid change, it is also important for women
to be made aware of future occupational demands.
This bulletin is directed to the student yet to hold her first job, the
mature woman coming back into the labor force, and the employed
woman who wishes to explore new opportunities. It is intended also
for vocational counselors, placement workers, and employers.

Mary Dublin Keyserling

Director, Women’s Burearn.






Growth in Clerical Employment
Automation______________________________________________ ___
Electronic Computers
How Many Jobs Tomorrow?
Changes in the Work Force
Mature Women Workers
Nonwhite Workers
Part-Time Workers


Secretary, Stenographer, Typist
Specialized Secretary
Legal secretary
Medical or dental secretary___________________
Engineering secretary____ ____________________
Educational secretary___ _
Bilingual secretary
Stenographer___ 1
Specialized Stenographer
Technical stenographer
Public stenographer
Court and conference reporter____________________
Typist----------------------------------------------------------------------------Dental or Medical Assistant______________ ____________________
File Clerk


Bank Teller________


Office Machine Operator
Billing Machine Operator
Calculating Machine Operator_______ _____________________
Duplicating Machine Operator
Mail Preparing and Mail Handling Operator_______________
Tabulating Machine Operator______ ______________________
Keypunch Operator
Electronic Computer Operating Personnel_____________________
Coding Clerk
Peripheral Equipment Operator
Console Operator
Tape Librarian







What Jobs Do Women Hold?
Where Do They Work?
Ratios of Men and Women in Clerical Jobs____________________
What Training IsNeeded?
What About Aptitudes?
What About Earnings?
What About Working Conditions?
Job Security
Labor Unions


Appendix A—A View of the Effect of Automation on Clerical Work_____
Centralization of Information Processing_______________
Fewer Levels of Supervision_______
Changes in Clerical Duties
Upgrading vs. Downgrading
Jobs Most Affected
EDP Also Creates Jobs
Problems of Adjustment
Smoothing the Transition to Automation_______________
Appendix B—References
Appendix C—Associations
Appendix D—Labor Unions
Appendix E—Accrediting Agencies_________








Taking dictation and answering correspondence are the core of a secre­
tary’s job_____________________________________________________
The educational secretary serves teachers and students as well as
The physician’s assistant performs simple laboratory tests and clerical
tasks in addition to other duties
In many offices the secretary may also serve as a receptionist________
Pushbutton controls ease the operation of some files________________
New automatic equipment has changed the bookkeeper’s job markedly,
Women find employment as cashiers in a variety of industries_______
The majority of clerical workers learn their basic office skills in high
Some girls train for office jobs in private business schools or colleges..
Many handicapped workers have successful careers in offices________








Working speeds generally consideredacceptable_____________________
Average weekly earnings of women secretaries, stenographers, and
typists in metropolitan areas, 1962-63
Average weekly earnings of women in selected office machine
occupations in 17 metropoiitan areas, 1962-63____________________
Leading clerical occupations for women, 1960
Average weekly earnings of women in selected office occupations in 212
metropolitan areas, 1962-63
Minimum and maximum salaries for Federal clerical workers, grades
1 through 6, effective July 1964





Growth in the Number of Women Clerical Workers, 1900-60_______
Clerical Occupations in Which Women Comprised a Majority of All
Workers, 1960



Chapter I
Today the clerical field is in a period of the most significant
change since the invention of the first office machines. It is in part
a change in clerical work, brought about by automation and other tech­
nological trends. It is also a change in the qualifications and char­
acteristics of the people who hold clerical jobs. Interwoven with
these developments is the rapid expansion in clerical employment that
has gone on for 60 years and more.

Growth in Clerical Employment
Clerical workers today are the largest of the white-collar groups.
In 1900 they were the smallest. In that year, when the country was
still in the early stages of the transition from an agricultural to an
industrial nation, fewer than 900,000 employees were required to han­
dle all the clerical work of the country. Ten years later, clerical
employment had almost doubled, and totaled more than the number
of workers in professional and technical occupations combined, or
in sales work. By 1920 clerical occupations offered jobs to more peo­
ple than did any other white-collar occupation—as they have each
year since then. In 1963 about one out of every seven workers in the
United States, or some 10 million people, held clerical jobs. Over 7
million of them were women. (See chart A.)
Underlying the tenfold increase in clerical workers from 1900 to
1960 was the general and rapid expansion of manufacturing, trans­
portation, communication, trade, and services, as well as the growing
activity of government at all levels—local, State, and Federal. The
tremendous increase in the country’s population, up 100 million since
1900, was of course in itself responsible for a part of the growth in
clerical employment. Furthermore, as business firms shifted from
small, family enterprises to large corporate organizations, as produc­
tion expanded and became diversified, and as the science of business
733-737 0—64




Growth in the Number of Women Clerical Workers, 1900-60



Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.






administration developed, there was a vast increase in all kinds of
No less striking than the growth in the number of clerical workers
between 1900 and 1960 are the advances made in the way clerical tasks
are accomplished. Automation and other technological developments
have provided a wide range of innovations to aid in calculating, record­
ing, tabulating, and performing many other tasks done by hand in
What is the outlook now for clerical employment? It can be
summed up briefly as continued change all along the line—in equip­
ment, duties, requirements, training, and personnel—and continued
expansion. Employment probably will mount at a slower rate, how­
ever, than in earlier periods.

Clerical work has been described in the modern language of tech­
nology as “information handling.” Teclmological advances on a
broad front are responsible for the changes underway in which in­
formation regarding inventories, sales, and costs is handled in the
office. Advances in communication which affect the office, for ex­
ample, include new techniques such as closed-circuit television and
extended telephone service. The key to the most abrupt and funda­
mental changes taking place, however, is automation.
What is automation? Perhaps it can best be defined through
familiar examples. In the home, automation affects the everyday lives
of those who push a button to set in motion the automatic disposal of
garbage, the laundering or drying of clothes, or the heating and cool­
ing of rooms. In the automated office, the push of a button can acti­
vate a transcribing machine, an automatic typewriter, copying equip­
ment, or a computer system. Not every office worker nor every office
will be affected by automation. Broad though the changes are, there
are many offices, particularly smaller ones, where clerical duties and
procedures will remain untouched. Automation in one form or an­
other, however, will affect the working lives of large numbers of
clerical workers. Many of them already have had firsthand experi­
ence with automation.

Electronic Computers
Of all the forms of office automation, the electronic computer is
easily the most dramatic. It may seem to be a new phenomenon, but
it is in part the sophisticated product of the centuries-old search for
power-driven machinery and for mechanisms to feed and guide the


machines and control their processes. The computer is the symbol
and the prime agent of the changes that automation is making in the
office. No other form of automation is so versatile—able to calculate,
compare, match, process, store, retrieve, and print out data according
to instructions. No other form of office automation has the same
influence on the duties and requirements of so many clerical jobs.
The possible applications of the computer to clerical work are
legion. The facts put into the machine may pertain to payrolls, ac­
counts receivable, or sales. The output may be salary checks, cus­
tomer bills, or a sales analysis. In an airline office, a computer can
make the reservation, check the seating plan, estimate the price and
tax, print and issue the ticket, and record the transaction. In a bank
it can process transactions while the customer is at the teller’s window,
and propose and obtain the answers to such questions as: “Was the
passbook submitted at the time of the last transaction ? Has interest
due been recorded?”
The first models of computers designed for processing business
data were not available until 1953. Their high speeds (reckoned first
in thousandths of a second and later in millionths of a second) and
their accuracy and versatility combined with a long-term shortage of
skilled clerical workers to bring them quick acceptance. By 1963
more than 12,000 electronic computers were in use in the United States.
The number of offices with computer installations is expected to con­
tinue to grow rapidly (see p. 45) as smaller, less expensive models come
on the market. The sale of “computer time,” from both computer
centers and automated firms with surplus time on their machines,
will bring electronic data processing (EDP) within the price range
of a much larger number of firms.
The degree of automation and the rate of changeover to EDP
vary from industry to industry and from plant to plant. We are in
a period in which it is possible to find, next door to each other, an
office which is in the same stage of mechanization as the office of 1930
and even earlier, and another that is the prototype of the future.
But office automation is a fact of business life, a step in the continued
technological development that is essential to the growth of our econ­
omy and to our ability to compete in international markets.1

How Many Jobs Tomorrow?
Clerical employment may reach 14 million in 1975, or about 14
clerical workers for every 10 employed in 1963. Each year during
the remainder of the 1960’s several hundred thousand openings are1
1 For a fuller discussion of computer systems in the office, see app. A : “A View of the
Effect of Automation on Clerical Work,” p. 61.


expected to occur. The total number of clerical jobs available will
be influenced by many factors, among them the growth in the size
and complexity of business. Banks, insurance companies, manufac­
turers, and the wholesale and retail trades will provide particularly
numerous opportunities. There will also be many new jobs created
in State and local government offices, educational institutions, and
professional service organizations. And the number of openings wTill
be heavily influenced by turnover as workers retire or leave their jobs
for other reasons.
Automation, too, will influence the number of clerical jobs. “Si­
lent firings,” the term used to describe those who would have been
hired except for automation, will increase as the use of computers
spreads. The net effect of office automation—as it increases average
workloads, eliminates some jobs, and creates others—will be to slow
down the rate of increase in the total number of clerical jobs relative
to the amount of clerical work to be done.

Changes in the Work Force
The characteristics of people who hold clerical jobs differ from
decade to decade as a result of changes in job duties, customs, equip­
ment, opportunities in clerical work as opposed to other work, and a
host of other factors. The changeover from all-male clerical staffs in
1890 to the predominantly female staffs of today is but one example
of the constant shifts taking place. Office automation and other tech­
nological advances will continue to leave their imprint on the com­
position of the clerical force. Early studies indicate that their effect
may be to halt the long-term trend toward the mounting percentage
of clerical jobs held by women. The following trends, however, al­
ready are well established.

Mature Women Workers
There has been a striking increase in the average age of women
workers in recent years. The median age of women in all types of
clerical work increased about 6 years between 1950 and 1960, from
under 30 years to 36 years. In other words, half of the women clerical
workers in 1960 were over 36 years of age. Over 1.8 million women
in clerical jobs were 45 years of age and over in 1960. However,
women over 45—and even some over 30—still find it more difficult to
find clerical jobs than younger women do.
The resistance to employment of women in older age brackets
does not reflect differences in performance on the job. Supervisors


have rated older workers high in reliability, emotional stability, and
loyalty to the job. Older workers also compare favorably with
younger workers in production. In a study made of office workers
in comparable clerical jobs during the winter of 1958-59 by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics, the output of older office workers was found to
equal that of younger workers in both quantity and accuracy, and
was at a steadier rate. The work of many older employees in the
study was superior to that of the average work of younger employees.
Older workers, particularly 55 years or older, had higher-than-average
output in jobs such as typing, filing, and sorting. Since the physical
demands of most clerical jobs are relatively low, further relaxation
of age ceilings for the vast majority of clerical jobs should not be
Former experience, even after the lapse of many years, and
updated office skills are valuable assets to an older woman seeking
employment. A limited number of older workers who lack market­
able skills have been trained under the Manpower Development and
Training Act and the Area Redevelopment Act, many of them as
stenographers and typists. Most of the older trainees have found
employment upon completion of training. Specialists in the employ­
ment of older workers are located in a number of State employment
services affiliated with the U.S. Employment Service.

Nonwhite Workers
The number of Negro women in clerical work increased from
about 74,000 in 1950 to about 182,000 in 1960, or at more than three
times the rate of increase for white women in clerical jobs. Non­
white (mainly Negro, oriental, American Indian, and Eskimo) women
clerical workers, however, still held less than 4 percent of all clerical
jobs in 1960, although they represented more than 12 percent of all
employed women in that year.
Growing numbers of Negro women are working as secretaries,
stenographers, typists, cashiers, bookkeepers, as well as in other
clerical jobs, according to a recent study of the Women’s Bureau.2
The increasing prevalence of fair employment practices and greater
opportunities for education and training will bring expanding employ­
ment for this group.

Part-Time Workers
In 1962 women working on less than full-time schedules—that is,
less than 35 hours a week—accounted for more than one-fifth of all1
1 See “Negro Women Workers in 1960.”


women in clerical work. Many part-time workers were employed as
typists or cashiers, and others as bank tellers, bookkeepers, office ma­
chine operators, receptionists, and file clerks. Some worked in estab­
lishments whose regular hours were less than 35 hours a week; for
example, in a number of physicians’ or dentists’ offices, schools, and
welfare and religious organizations. Others worked during rush
periods in stores, restaurants, banks, and other business places.
A few part-time clerical workers, particularly typists, worked in their
own homes.
The growth in part-time employment has been fostered by the de­
velopment of metropolitan suburbs. This has brought together peo­
ple who want part-time work (the housewives and students of
suburbia) and employers who need part-time workers (the super­
markets, insurance offices, and branch banks). Part-time employment
is a practical solution for students and for women with family respon­
sibilities who need earnings but are not able to work full time. It
also enables women to acquire experience that may afford entry to a
full-time job. The part-time worker is under certain handicaps,
however. Her job is likely to be strictly routine, and seldom leads
to a responsible position. In addition, to get the job she may need to
be better qualified than an applicant willing to work full time.



Chapter II

Today the clerical field encompasses literally hundreds of kinds
of jobs, many of which differ basically in the duties and skills in­
volved. This great diversity among jobs in the clerical field makes it
possible for people of many skills, abilities, and temperaments to find
clerical work suited to them. There are jobs for the highly trained
and some for those without specialized training, although competition
for the latter is keen. There are clerical jobs for those who are “peo­
ple oriented” and for those who are “machine oriented.”
Since it is not possible to discuss in this bulletin every clerical
job, the occupations selected for description are in general those
which lead in the number of women workers, those which offer un­
usual promise, or those which are in process of rapid change.1

Secretary, Stenographer, Typist
High school girls planning to work in an office most often express
their goals in terms of a job as secretary, stenographer, or typist.
In 1960 there were almost 1.7 million women working as secretaries or
stenographers, an increase of more than half a million over 1950.
Women employed as typists in 1960 totaled about 500,000, or 164,000
more than in 1950. Hundreds of thousands of women were in other
jobs which required some typing or shorthand.
Technological changes will affect these three occupations less
than many others in the clerical field. However, advances in informa­
tion handling, including electronic data processing and new tech­
niques of communication, will have a discernible influence on the
1 Some clerical jobs not covered here have been the subject of special study by the
Women’s Bureau. See “Women Telephone Workers and Changing Technology” and
“Part-Time Employment for Women.”

733-737 O—-64



duties and on the educational and skill requirements of these occupa­
tions, as well as on the opportunities they offer for employment and

What is a secretary ? Literally, she is a “keeper of secrets,” but
she is, of course, much more than that. She is, in a real sense, an ex­
tension of the executive for whom she works—a good right arm, set­
ting into motion the executive’s plans and decisions and relieving her
chief of detailed and routine duties.
Probably few jobs offer as wide a variety of tasks as does secre­
tarial work. A survey made some years ago turned up nearly 900
specific duties performed by secretaries. Automation and other tech­
nological innovations have added some tasks to that list and eliminated
others. No one secretary, of course, is responsible for more than a
fraction of all possible secretarial duties.
Duties relating to correspondence are at the core of a secretary’s
job. In line with these duties she is expected to take dictation, tran­
scribe, type, and in some cases to edit letters or compose replies. An­
other major group of duties centers around the office records. The
secretary usually handles the filing and maintenance of records,
although in the large office she may personally handle only those which
are of a private or confidential nature; she delegates responsibility for
the main files to other employees. Public relations activities, which
may include acting as a receptionist, also form an important part
of a secretary’s duties. Most secretaries make appointments, answer
and make phone calls, read and sort the mail, make travel arrange­
ments, and obtain various kinds of information. They also may set
up meetings and conferences. Many secretaries also do a certain
amount of general clerical work.
The level of the position is one important factor in determining
which duties the secretary may be called on to perform. A secretarystenographer, for example, may take dictation, type, file, and perform
routine office work. A junior secretary may, in addition to the duties
of a secretary-stenographer, be responsible for routine correspondence,
appointments, and the flow of clerical work. The private or senior
secretary may act as receptionist, schedule appointments and meetings,
and carry a good deal of responsibility. A few secretaries move into
management positions as executive secretaries or administrative as­
sistants. Those who hold these jobs have considerable authority for
making decisions, planning office routine, and supervising other
clerical workers.


p *


Figure 1.

Taking dictation and answering correspondence are the core of a
secretary’s job.

The growing recognition of a professional element in top secre­
tarial positions lias found expression in the Certified Professional
Secretary Program sponsored by the National Secretaries Association,
International (NSAI). Under this program experienced secretaries
with post high school education may, upon completion of examina­
tions in business law, business administration, economies, and human
relations, be designated “CPS.” More than 23,000 secretaries are
members of the NSAI.
Technological changes will of course influence secretarial duties.
In the one-girl office, dictating systems, automatic typewriters, and
copying equipment may free the secretary from some routine work
and make her more of an administrative assistant to the executive.
She may spend less time taking dictation and typing, more time moni­
toring meetings or doing research. As the correspondence duties of
secretaries in larger offices are reduced by the growing utilization of
transcribing pools, by greater reliance on long-distance telephone, and
by the increase in facsimile and data transmission, there may be a
decrease in the number of private secretaries and an increase in the


number of secretaries who work for several executives. Such secre­
taries with more than one boss schedule their own work, make appoint­
ments, and act as liaison between the executives and the service areas;
they will assume roles of considerable importance.
The same qualities, however, that always have marked a good
secretary will be as valued tomorrow as they are today. Employers
will continue to look for the ability to keep confidences, for dependa­
bility, loyalty, tact, and commonsense. They will continue to seek
a secretary who combines initiative with ability to follow instructions.
They will appreciate one who is able to anticipate what her employer
will need from the files when he is in conference, talking on the phone,
or with a caller. Tomorrow’s secretary, like the secretary today, must
be punctual in the morning, willing in emergencies to stay until the
job is done, and calm under tension.
Certain other time-honored traits assume even greater importance
in the automated office. There will be a premium on flexibility as
automation brings changes in procedures and personnel, and shifts in
policy. Tomorrow’s secretary must be ready to embrace change all
along the line. The ability to plan work is another skill that will be
even more important in the automated office.

Specialized Secretary
Many professional and business employers prefer secretaries who
are versed in their special fields, through either study or experience.
These secretaries operate as auxiliary workers, alleviating the current
shortages of professionals in law, engineering, medicine, teaching,
library work, and a number of other fields. At least 2 years of
college are recommended for many of the specialized secretarial
The growing demand for specialized secretaries enables, young
women to work in fields whose subject matter parallels their interests.
The following fields of specialty are only the major ones from a grow­
ing list.
Legal Secretary.—Legal secretaries find employment in law firms,
trade associations, corporations, courthouses, on the staffs of State
and Federal legislators, and in other offices. The legal secretarial
field has been described as “undercrowded.”
Duties of a legal secretary differ markedly according to the nature
of the employer’s work and the size of the staff. Secretarial work
in a legislator’s office, for example, will be very different from that
in a law firm. Even among law firms the work will vary greatly


between a firm specializing in criminal law and another specializing
in patent law.
Wherever she works, the legal secretary should be well trained
in business subjects, including shorthand, typing, business accounting,
filing, and office procedures. Skill standards for the legal secretary
are high. She should be able to take dictation at 120-140 words a
minute with perfect accuracy and should be able to type without error
since erasures are not permitted on some legal documents. In addition
to business training, the legal secretary should have a good general
education that may include courses in literature, government, eco­
nomics, psychology, science, and foreign languages. Proficiency in
the use of English grammar, spelling, and punctuation is essential.
The legal secretary should know the basic legal vocabulary, the stand­
ard legal forms, and the specialized shorthand terms and punctuation
required in her work. She also should have an elementary understand­
ing of legal principles and a general knowledge of the organization
and procedures of the courts.
The National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS), with
over 10,000 members here and abroad, has a program of certification
similar to that of the National Secretaries Association. Successful
candidates are designated “PLS” (Professional Legal Secretary).
Medical or Dental Secretary.—There is a strong demand for
trained medical and dental secretaries. Most of them are employed
in the offices of physicians or dentists or in large hospitals and clinics.
However, sanitariums, nursing homes, insurance companies, factories,
public health departments, firms that manufacture and distribute
medical supplies, and medical research and medical publishing com­
panies all offer opportunities to the secretary who has specialized in
the medical or dental field.
Medical secretaries are found at many points in hospitals and clinics.
Some are assigned to the business office or the medical records section.
Others work in the offices of the superintendent or of the department
heads. One of the lesser known positions is that of the operating room
secretary. Working under the surgical supervisor, this secretary
schedules operations, notifies the nurses and technicians who are to be
present, and prepares the surgical reports following the operations.
The secretary who works in a doctor’s or dentist’s office makes ap­
pointments, receives patients, sorts mail, handles bills and accounts,
and checks supplies. In some offices she aids the doctor or dentist in
the treatment and examining rooms, writes case histories, and fills out
insurance claim forms. She also reports births and deaths, cases of
blindness and communicable diseases, vaccinations, immunizations,
and other medical information in accordance with State laws. She


may perform routine laboratory work. Her duties are closely related
to those of the assistant in a doctor’s or dentist’s office,2 but secretarial
duties play a more important part in her job than in the job of the
The education of a medical or dental secretary includes courses
in medical or dental office procedure, laboratory technology, and
general medical or dental terms. The medical secretary often must
learn the medical vocabulary of the particular specialization of her
The hours of a medical or dental secretary may be long and irregu­
lar, and may include Saturday and some evening work. The job, how­
ever, brings satisfaction to the girl who likes a medical environment.
Medical secretaries may belong to the American Association of Medi­
cal Assistants, Inc.
Engineering Secretary.—Industrial enterprises, engineering firms,
and scientific and educational institutions offer opportunities for
engineering secretaries. Their work may be related to any one of
a number of engineering fields, including aeronautical, electrical, chem­
ical, or mechanical. About 13,000 secretaries are employed by firms
providing professional engineering and architectural services.
The duties of engineering secretaries include dictation and tran­
scription involving technical terms, equations, and formulas. Their
work may include typing statistical tabulations and technical reports.
Some engineering secretaries are called upon for computations
requiring algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and statistics, and they are
expected to know how to use a slide rule. Accuracy is very important
in this field.
Training for engineering secretaries may include study of engi­
neering terminology, engineering shorthand, chemistry, physics, draft­
ing, and blueprints.
Educational Secretary.—Educational secretaries work in the of­
fices of elementary schools, junior or senior high schools, colleges,
universities, local boards of education, departments of education at all
governmental levels, and educational associations. The educational
secretary serves the staff, the student body, and the public. Her duties
will depend on her specific position, and on the type and size of the
educational organization in which she is employed. She may register
pupils, prepare transcripts of grades, keep attendance records, order
and distribute books and supplies, prepare audio-visual aids, repro­
duce teaching materials, score objective tests, and do clerical work in
2 See Dental or Medical Assistant, p. 22.



Figure 2.

The educational secretary serves teachers and students as well as

the school library. About 4,200 secretaries are members of the Na­
tional Association of Educational Secretaries (NAES), a depart­
ment of the National Education Association.
Bilingual Secretary.'—The secretary who can take dictation and
transcribe it in two or more languages may find work either in the
United States or abroad. Bilingual secretaries are needed in exportimport. offices, banks, travel agencies, manufacturing companies with
oversea operations, embassies, and international organizations.
Knowledge of languages must be perfect. A good accent also is

A considerable part of the stenographer’s workday is spent tak­
ing dictation in shorthand or by machine and transcribing the notes
on a typewriter. In some offices the stenographer’s duties may in­
clude typing from transcribing machines which have recorded the
material in sound. Not all transcription is confined to correspondence
and reports. Stenographers may also be called on to record and tran­
scribe executive conferences and meetings.


Stenographers usually carry out a variety of clerical duties in
addition to recording and transcribing. These duties will vary with
the size of the office and with the industry, and may include compiling
reports, sorting and filing letters, opening and distributing mail,
answering the telephone, operating a switchboard, and receiving
callers. Stenographers whose main duties include those of a general
clerk (for example, addressing envelopes and keeping simple records)
usually are called clerk-stenographers.
A stenographer who knows her employer’s policies and practices
and who works under a minimum of supervision is usually designated
senior stenographer. She may supervise junior stenographers.
Junior stenographers take and transcribe dictation of a routine nature.
Generally they work under relatively close supervision.
The growing use of dictating machines may curtail the increase
in stenographic jobs requiring shorthand. In an office in which most
of the dictation is put on transcribing machines,3 stenographers may
be replaced, to some extent, by transcribing machine operators. Ad­
vances in communication which reduce the amount of written corre­
spondence that is necessary also will have an impact on the demand
for stenographers.

Specialized Stenographer
Specialization offers the stenographer many of the same advan­
tages it offers the secretary. High on the list of these is the chance
to work in a sympathetic environment in a field of particular interest.
Specialization is an asset in getting and holding a job; it increases a
stenographer’s value to her employer. Certain stenographic special­
ties, such as court reporting, can bring increased salary.
Technical Stenographer.—Stenographers who work in fields that
require a technical background or a general understanding of
technical terminology often are classified as technical stenographers.
Fields of specialization include law, medicine, science, engineering,
advertising, public relations, radio and TV scripts, police work, and
foreign language work.
Public Stenographer.—The main duty of a public stenographer
is to prepare corresporidence, manuscripts, or documents for clients
who pay by the hour or by the page. Some public stenographers also
provide copying services and act as notaries public. Superior steno­
graphic skills, business ability, and a knowledge of the terminology
8 See transcribing machine operator, p. 18.


and practices of many types of businesses and professions are basic
requirements for these positions.
Since public stenographers must be readily accessible to the pub­
lic, they usually are located in large office buildings or in hotels. Their
services also are available on some passenger trains, and arrangements
sometimes can be made with airlines for stenographic services on plane
flights. Public stenographers often work at night and on weekends
and holidays. Their work often is done under pressure. Most public
stenographers are self-employed, though some work for firms that
provide stenographic services to the public.
Court and Conference Reporter.—The stenographers who record
the testimony and rulings given in court and those who record
the proceedings of a conference usually are called reporters. Other
stenographers in this category are those who work in a police depart­
ment and record statements of accused persons. Reporters may re­
cord in shorthand, with a stenographic machine, or with microphone
equipment. Their skills must be well above average. The conference
reporter must be able to record technical material accurately at a high
rate of speed for several hours at a time. The court reporter must be
able to make verbatim reports with absolute accuracy, since an ap­
peal to a higher court may depend on the stenographic record. As au­
tomatic recording and transcribing devices are perfected, the number
of reporter jobs may be curtailed.

The major work of a typist is making typewritten copies of
handwritten or printed materials or information recorded in sound.
She may prepare stencils or Duplimats, address envelopes, fill in
report forms, and do miscellaneous typing. Although her responsi­
bilities are narrower than those of a stenographer, she often performs
a variety of duties in addition to typing. She may answer the tele­
phone, file, proofread copy, record information in longhand, and sort
Typists who copy material in final form from rough drafts,
combining material from several sources, planning the layout, and
typing complicated statistical tables may be called senior typists.
These typists should be familiar with printer’s symbols. Junior typ­
ists usually type fairly simple copy from relatively clean drafts.
They may address envelopes or type headings on form letters and fill
out printed forms.
Typists who perform a number of clerical duties, the majority
of which require the use of a typewriter, generally are classified
783-737 0- 64



broadly as cleric-typists. The typist’s specific job title frequently is
based on the forms or documents she processes, namely, c.o.d. biller,
collection clerk, mortgage clerk, ticketing clerk (banking), and
report clerk (insurance). Sometimes the typist’s specific title takes
its name from the particular equipment she operates. A transcribing
machine operator, for example, transcribes material recorded in sound
from the tape or record of a transcribing machine. An automatic
typewriter operator uses a typewriter that is activated by a perforated
roll similar to a player-piano roll or a perforated tape. An embossing
machine operator runs an elecerically powered machine which stamps
names, addresses, code numbers, and similar information in relief on
metal plates for use in duplicating and addressing machines. A
telegraphic typewriter operator (sometimes called a teletype operator
or an automatic telegraph operator) uses a machine with a typewriter
keyboard to send and receive messages. One of the newest specialties
is that of data typist. This title describes those who use specially
designed electric typewriters and magnetic tape to transcribe coded
program instructions for electronic data processing.
Well-qualified typists will continue to be in demand. However,
a larger share of the growing workload in what was once the typist’s
exclusive domain will be assumed by copying equipment and auto­
matic typewriters; “turn-around” documents for ordering, invoicing,
and shipping; “print-out” of bills, orders, and similar material by com­
puter systems; facsimile and data transmission; and other techno­
logical innovations.

Training and Qualifications
Although secretaries, stenographers, and typists have different
levels of responsibility, they form a common group in terms of skill
and basic duties. The opportunities that exist, furthermore, for a
typist to become a stenographer and for a stenographer to become a
secretary make it useful to discuss education and skills for these three
occupations as a group.
Typing skill is of course a basic requirement for all three of these
jobs, and the employee should be able to operate both electric and
manual typewriters. Stenographic and secretarial positions require
speed and accuracy in taking and transcribing notes made in short­
hand or with a dictation-taking machine. Although standards for
taking dictation and typing vary from one employer to another, table 1
indicates some average working speeds which are widely acceptable.
Typing and shorthand courses for beginners are offered in most
high schools, and advanced courses are available in a number of them.


Table 1.—Working speeds generally considered acceptable

Words per minute

Secretaries and Stenographers:
Secretary and senior stenographer___
Stenographer, juniorCourt reporter.
General typist .
_ .
Clerk tvnist _ _
Transcribing machine operator Telegraphic typewriter operator- __ ____


150 or more





Many business schools seek to prepare their students to qualify for
positions whose requirements are in the upper range of the standards
for speed indicated in table 1. Successful completion of a 9-month
stenographic course in these schools generally requires minimum speeds
of 100 words per minute in taking dictation and 50 words per minute
in typing. Minimum requirements set by business schools for success­
ful completion of the 12-month course often are 60 words per minute
for typing and 120 words per minute for taking dictation. Courses in
shorthand and typing also are offered in many colleges. In a number of
communities, courses are offered at night by the public high schools,
the YWCA and YMCA, the Urban League, private business schools,
or community colleges. Stenographic skills also can be learned
through correspondence courses.
Employers frequently demand skills in addition to typing and
shorthand. The employer may specify, for example, that an applicant
know or be willing to learn how to operate a switchboard, keep certain
records, or operate a particular office machine or a cash register.
In addition to training in stenographic skills, many high schools
and vocational schools offer courses in clerical practice, business Eng­
lish, and other subjects which are useful preparation to the girl seeking
a job as a stenographer or typist. A number of schools also have office
education programs which provide actual work experience under
trained supervision.
Many women in these occupations continue their education and
training beyond high school. Half the women employed as secretaries,
stenographers, and typists in 1962 had completed i2.6 years or more
of schooling. Some had received their training in private business


schools, others in colleges. Post high school training is increasingly
specified for secretaries in specialized fields, for private and executive
secretaries, and for those jobs clearly designated as trainee positions
for a professional or higher level administrative position.
A number of community and junior colleges offer 2-year secre­
tarial programs which include courses in economics, management, mar­
keting, business law, accounting, business correspondence, and a wide
range of other business subjects. More than 200 colleges and universi­
ties confer a bachelor’s degree in secretarial science, and a few confer
a master’s degree. Four-year college programs offer courses to the
secretarial major in psychology, history, sociology, political science,
English, and foreign languages. A limited number of secretarial
scholarships are available from the National Secretaries Association
and the National Legal Secretaries Association.
Future Secretaries Association is an organization for potential
secretaries enrolled in educational institutions. The National Secre­
taries Association is the sponsor of this student group.

Earnings and Working Conditions
Wide variations exist in the earnings of secretaries, stenographers,
a.nd typists. Salary differentials are based in part on individual fac­
tors—skill, previous experience, academic and extracurricular record,
and personal qualities. Salaries vary also with job requirements,
length of the workweek, and the location, size, and type of business
of the employer.
A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of metropolitan occupational
pay levels in 1962-63 showed average weekly earnings of $96.50 for
secretaries and $77.50 for general stenographers. (See table 2.) The
average weekly earnings for senior typists were $77.50; for junior
typists, $65. However, these averages represented a wide range of
earnings. For example, although general stenographers averaged
earnings of $77.50 a week, some earned under $50 and some earned
$110 or more.
The 4-year college graduates usually command somewhat higher
starting salaries than others who enter these occupations, and their
promotion may be relatively rapid. Management-level positions des­
ignated as executive secretary or administrative assistant (see page
10) often are filled by college graduates with secretarial experience.
A few college-trained secretaries are able to move into professional
Secretaries who have had specialized training or experience also
may expect relatively higher beginning salaries than those who meet


Table 2.—Average weekly earnings 1 of women secretaries, stenographers, and typists
in metropolitan areas, 1962-68
Metropolitan area



Average, 212 areas 2 _
Atlanta, Ga ___
Birmingham, Ala _
Boston, Mass.
Buffalo, N.Y
Chicago, 111 . .
Cleveland, Ohio
Dallas, Tex __
Kansas City, Mo.-Kans.
Los Angeles-Long
Beach, Calif
Memphis, Tenn
Minneapolis-St. Paul,
Minn. __ _ ._
New York, N.Y .
Philadelphia, Pa
Pittsburgh, Pa...
Portland, Oreg_______
San Francisco-Oakland, Calif.. .
Seattle, Wash


Class A



$89. 00
92. 50
93. 00
79. 50
93. 00
92. 00
93. 00
87. 50


105. 00
79. 50

89. 50
68. 00






102. 50
100. 50


84. 50
85. 00

Class B opera­


$65. 00
61. 00
62. 00
69. 00
67. 00
57. 00
62. 50

96. 00
91. 50

84. 00
65. 50

74. 00
54. 00

80. 00
62. 50



70. 50
78. 00
77. 50
79. 50

61. 50
68. 50
60. 50
64. 50


93. 50
86. 00

79. 50
79. 00

70. 50
67. 00

79. 00
72. 50




1 Earnings relate to regular straight-time salaries that are paid for standard workweeks; source: U.S.
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wages and Related Benefits, Part I: 82 Labor Markets,
1962-63, Bull. No. 1345-83.
2 See same source, Part II: Metropolitan Areas, United States and Regional Summaries, 1962-63.

only the minimum requirements for education and training. This
is particularly true of legal and bilingual secretaries. Starting sal­
aries for these secretaries in Washington, D.C., in 1963, were $90 to
$100 or more a week.
According to the survey of metropolitan areas cited previously,
weekly earnings of secretaries and stenographers were highest in
public utilities. Among typists, weekly earnings were highest in man­
ufacturing firms and public utilities. Weekly earnings for all three
occupations were lowest in retail trade and finance.
Annual salary rates in the Federal Government in 1964 ranged
from $4,480 to $7,170 for most secretaries, from $4,005 to $6,485 for
the majority of stenographers and reporters, and from $3,680 to $5,830
for most clerk-typists. Salaries for dictating machine transcribers
were somewhat higher than for clerk-typists.


Geographically, weekly earnings for secretaries, stenographers,
and typists were generally highest in the West. Weekly earnings for
these occupations generally were lowest in the South.
Working conditions for most secretaries, stenographers, and
typists are similar to those for most clerical workers. Their working
areas may be located in large bays filled with desks, file cabinets, and
office machines, although some secretaries and stenographers work in
quiet, private offices. Stenographers who specialize in a technical
field are more likely than others in this group of occupations to work
under unusual conditions—in laboratories, in production plants, or
in a police court.

The job of an assistant (attendant) in a dentist’s or physician’s
office is related to a number of other jobs. Certain duties performed
by the assistant also are performed by medical or dental secretaries;
others are performed by nurses, or by laboratory technologists or
dental technicians. The medical or dental assistant, however, is
neither secretary, technician, nor nurse. Her job is to serve the mostcommon office needs of doctors or dentists, and in doing this she
uses her knowledge in the several fields mentioned above.
Almost 69,000 women were employed as assistants in physicians’
and dentists’ offices in 1960. This represented an increase of 30,000
women in this occupation since 1950. More of them were employed
by dentists than by physicians.
Dental Assistant.—A trained dental assistant’s primary duty is
assisting the dentist at the chairside. She prepares patients for treat­
ment, sets out instruments, and, during treatment, hands the re­
quired instruments to the dentist, mixes filling materials and dental
cement as the dentist needs them, and assists in taking X-rays. The
dental assistant also sterilizes instruments; orders supplies; does lab­
oratory work; and develops, dries, and mounts X-ray film. Her cler­
ical duties usually include acting as receptionist, scheduling appoint­
ments, keeping the books, and billing the patients. The job of dental
assistant should not be confused with that of the dental hygienist for
which additional study and licensing are required.
Most dental assistants are employed by private dentists. The
remainder work in hospitals, in local public health departments, in
private clinics, or in the armed services. The growing demand for
dental service and the shortage of dentists have created a strong de­
mand for assistants to relieve dentists of routine duties.


Local groups of the American Dental Assistants Association often
provide courses including dental anatomy, oral hygiene, instrument
sterilization, lab techniques, and assisting at chairside. This program
generally provides a total of 104 hours in 2-hour periods one night a
week. Some dentists employ girls who have followed a general busi­
ness program in high school, and train them on the job in the special
duties of a dentist’s assistant. Courses in biology and chemistry,
bookkeeping, typing, and business arithmetic provide useful prepara­
tion for the dentist’s assistant.
The number of 1- and 2-year educational programs for dental
assistants has been increasing rapidly. These programs are some-

Figure 3.

The physician’s assistant performs simple laboratory tests and
clerical tasks in addition to other duties.


times offered by a university in connection with its school of dentistry.
Courses are also available in community or junior colleges, vocational
and technical schools, and other educational institutions. The Coun­
cil on Dental Education has been designated by the American Dental
Association as the official accrediting agency for dental assistant edu­
cational programs. In 1964 the council gave its approval to seventeen
2-year programs for dental assistants and to twenty-two 1-year
A pleasant personality, poise, and self-control are essential quali­
ties for the dental assistant. She also should be able to work quickly
and deftly with her hands.
A dental assistant’s salary depends on her training, length
of experience, geographic location, and duties. Nationwide the
scale ranges from $50 to $75 a week to a maximum of about $100
a week. In the Federal Government an untrained dental assistant
starts at civil service grade 2 at $3,680 a year, and may go as high
as grade 6 supervisor at $5,505 to $7,170 a year. The assistant usually
works 40 hours a week.
Dental assistants may become members of the American Dental
Assistants Association. This association accords a certificate of
“Certified Dental Assistant” to those who have fulfilled experience
and course requirements.
Medical Assistant.—The medical (physician’s) assistant receives
patients, makes out general personal data cards for new patients,
provides the physician with the medical record of regular pa­
tients, and ushers the patients in turn into the consultation or
examination office. She usually assists or directs the patient in prepar­
ing for examination, treatment, or minor surgery. She sets out the
necessary instruments, and may assist her employer by handing him
instruments and performing other duties. She may assist the patient
to dress, and then prepare the examining room for the next patient.
She sterilizes instruments and keeps adequate supplies in the examin­
ing room. Under direction of the physician she may take a patient’s
temperature and pulse, apply or remove surgical dressings, operate
an electrocardiograph or diathermy machine, and make simple lab­
oratory tests. Her clerical duties include ordering supplies, receiving
payment for services, preparing and mailing statements, completing
insurance forms, taking and transcribing dictation from the physi­
cian, and preparing correspondence.
High school graduation is the minimum requirement for the phy­
sician’s assistant. Those applicants who have had courses in biology,
chemistry, health education, typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping are
generally preferred. Preparation may include training and experi-


ence as a medical secretary, training as a practical nurse experienced
in office procedures, or study at the college level. Formal training, re­
quiring 1 to 2 years, is given in a number of colleges. Courses may
include anatomy, physiology, nursing arts, medical laboratory pro­
cedures, instrument sterilization, clerical subjects, and on-the-job
training in a typical office. The same personal qualities required of
the dental assistant apply to the physician’s assistant.
Data are not available on the earnings of medical assistants, but
they probably are similar to those for dental assistants. The medical
assistant commonly works an 8-hour day, 5 days a week. If she is one
of several assistants in an office, however, she may work some evening
or Saturday hours. Medical assistants may be members of the Amer­
ican Association of Medical Assist ants, Inc.

The number of women employed as receptionists increased from
about 57,500 in 1950 to over 131,000 in 1960. Women fill about 98
percent of all the jobs in this occupation. Each year many openings
are available, but competition is keen. Chances for employment are
enhanced by such skills as typing, and by experience in operating a
switchboard. Receptionist jobs are sometimes filled by promoting
qualified file clerks or other clerical workers.
Jobs as receptionists are found in industrial concerns; wholesale
and retail firms; professional offices; service establishments, including
real estate and insurance offices; public relations and advertising
firms; and radio and television stations.

The duties of a receptionist are closely related to the profession or
business of her employer; In a hospital admitting office she obtains
and records information about the patient, acts as custodian for per­
sonal property and valuables, directs the patient to the appropriate
room, and, upon the patient’s discharge, enters the dismissal data.
In some organizations she may assist clients to complete applications
or other forms. Wherever she works, her role is an important one.
The way she handles her responsibilities often will influence the atti­
tude of visitors toward her employer and the services or products
The receptionist receives customers or clients, patients, salesmen,
or other visitors who come into the establishment, tactfully determines
the purpose of their visits, and directs them to the appropriate person.
She may record the names of visitors, the time they called, the reason
733-737 0—64



Figure 4.

In many offices the secretary may also serve as a receptionist.

for their visit, and the name of the person to whom she directed them.
The receptionist may operate a switchboard to relay incoming and
interoffice calls and make connections for outgoing calls. General
clerical duties that do not conflict with her primary responsibilities as
a receptionist often are part of her job in the small office. Her duties
usually include answering routine inquiries. In fact, in some offices
her title is information clerk.

Training and Qualifications
Requirements for receptionists are not as standardized as for
many clerical jobs. High school graduation usually is required, and
courses in English and public speaking are considered particularly
helpful in developing the excellent command of English and the
ability to express thoughts effectively that are essential in receptionist
positions. Some employers specify skills such as typing or operating
a switchboard. Although an applicant who is experienced in operat­
ing a switchboard has a greater chance of employment, switchboard
operation is not a difficult skill and often is learned on the job.
Employers often prefer attractive young women as receptionists.
A pleasant voice and a personality that is both gracious and business­
like are of prime importance. The job requires poise, great tact, di­
plomacy, self-control, and patience. The receptionist must be alert


and have a good memory for names, faces, and business facts. In a
large firm she must be familiar with the work of each department and
know the duties of each executive in order to direct callers in­

Earnings and Working Conditions
Wages of switchboard operator-receptionists in 212 metropolitan
areas surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1962-63 averaged
$72.50. Highest average salary ($78) was paid in the West; lowest
average salary ($66), in the South.
Although receptionist jobs may carry considerable prestige, earn­
ings are low compared with other clerical occupations which require
greater skills. (See page 56.) Some women move from receptionist
positions to higher paid clerical or sales positions.
The receptionist usually works in business or professional sur­
roundings. Even though her desk may be in an area isolated from
other workers, her job provides contact with people. She generally
spends most of her time at her desk, but in many establishments her
duties include showing callers to the proper offices. She performs
most of her work without direct supervision.
The working hours of the receptionist are usually the normal
ones for clerical employees: Monday through Friday, 40 hours a
week or less, on the day shift. Those employed in hospitals and
physicians’ offices may work irregular hours that include night and
weekend duty.

Filing essentially is the arrangement and maintenance of records
in a methodical manner. The bulk of the files in the average business
firm is likely to contain correspondence, orders, and invoices; but files
may bold a great variety of data. In an engineering firm, for ex­
ample, they hold blueprints; in a hospital, medical records; in a
travel agency, tour programs and timetables; and in a newspaper
office, clippings and background information for articles. Some files
hold samples of merchandise, such as yams which are kept for color
comparison, or other samples which are kept to aid clients in making
The files of an establishment have been described as its “memory.”
They might also be described as its “lifeline.” As business activity
and the functions of government have grown in scope and complexity,
reliance on files has increased accordingly. In fact, modem business
is so dependent, on its records that loss of the files can result in the



Figure 5.

Pushbutton controls ease the operation of some flies.

closing of a business. The value of maintaining files and speeding
access to materials on file is reflected in the development of motorized
equipment and pushbutton controls.
In 1960 over 112,000 women were employed as file clerks, almost
21,000 more than in 1950. Total hirings were considerably greater
than this growth represented, as labor turnover in this occupation is
high. Large numbers of file clerk jobs are vacated each year due to
promotions, family responsibilities, retirement, and other reasons.
The increase in the number of women employed as file clerks during
the decade 1950-60, however, did not keep pace with the average
increase in the number of women employed in all clerical occupations.


Filing jobs are found in almost every business and industry; in
government; in religious, civic, and social organizations; and every­
where that records are found. In some enterprises filing operations
have grown beyond the practical capabilities of traditional filing, and
have been transferred to computers. This has taken place in many
insurance companies, banks, manufacturing concerns, and a number
of government agencies. “Storage and retrieval” are the electronic
equivalents of “filing and finding” operations performed by the file
clerk. Although computer systems will eliminate many filing jobs
in large organizations, there still will be a place for file clerks.

The job of a file clerk centers on the filing of material according
to a definite system and locating it again as it is required. A class A
file cleric reads enough of the material to determine its classification
under the system used in the office—whether subject, straight alpha­
betic or numeric, geographic, or other. She indexes it and makes
whatever cross-references are necessary under appropriate classifi­
cations. In a large office the class A file clerk may supervise otha,
file clerks who do the actual filing and locating. Otherwise she will
file and locate it herself. She may keep records of various types, in­
cluding lists of correspondents and of materials removed from files.
She also may select inactive materials for transfer to storage. In
some offices she may set up the filing system. Her other clerical
duties often are closely related to filing; for example, collecting the
mail, typing information from file data, or operating office machines
to make calculations or entries that are necessary to bring the files up
to date. In addition she may answer the phone, operate the switch­
board, and perform other clerical duties.
The class B file clerk sorts, codes, and files unclassified material
by simple headings, or partly classified material by finer subheadings,
and prepares simple index and cross-reference aids. She locates
clearly identified material as it is needed. Her duties often include
other clerical tasks, such as making the mail round, distributing carbon
copies of correspondence to staff members, and stamping the mail.
The class C file clerk handles material already classified or which
can be classified easily in a simple alphabetic, chronological, or nu­
meric system. She locates readily available material. She may also
perform other clerical tasks.
The duties and the title of a file clerk vary with the type of estab­
lishment in which she is employed. A circulation clerk, for example,
keeps records of publication subscriptions. She receives notices of
new subscriptions and mails notes of expiration dates. A film, file clerk


keeps a file of X-rays. Her duties include removing film from the
drier, sorting it according to file number and type of X-ray pic­
ture, and entering the file numbers and the patients’ names on film
preserver envelopes. A map file clerk keeps files of topographic maps,
reference maps, aerial photographs, and other similar material.
Sometimes titles are related to the particular filing system used. The
Soundex System file clerk, for example, files according to phonetic

Training and Qualifications
Specialized training or experience is not usually specified for
filing jobs, although typing skills are sometimes required. Good
spelling is essential to the file clerk, and courses in business English,
general mathematics, and office practice are helpful. A high school
education usually is required for filing jobs. On-the-job training is
given by many firms. A new file clerk may require training for
2 to 3 weeks or longer, depending on the file system in use.
Filing jobs require a sense of orderliness, a liking for detail, a
desire to serve, and an ability to keep confidential all information
learned on the job. Speed and a good memory are valuable assets
for the file clerk.

Earnings and Working Conditions
The weekly earnings of file clerks in 212 metropolitan areas in
1962-63 averaged $77.50 for class A clerks, $63 for class B clerks,
and $56.50 for those in class C.
Avenues for promotion are very limited without skills such as
typing, shorthand, or office machine operation. Possession of these
skills, however, combined with the opportunity filing affords to learn
about the business, often leads to a job as typist or stenographer.
Some file clerks in large establishments become file room supervisors.
Others are promoted to phone order clerks or to receptionists.

Every business today has its books—that is, a record of its financial
affairs. In many offices these records are handled by members of an
ancient occupation which, since the Middle Ages, has taken its name,
“bookkeeping,” from the bound volumes in which transactions gen­
erally were entered. Today the occupation is highly susceptible to
the technological changes underway in modern offices.


Bookkeeping employed 764,000 women in 1960, an increase of
more than 200,000 over 1950. This expansion is due in part to in­
creased bookkeeping responsibilities in connection with tax returns,
expense accounts, and other items. Over the long run the growing use
of mechanical equipment and electronic computers will hold expansion
in the number of bookkeepers to a moderate increase. More of the
openings will be for bookkeeping machine operators and accounting
clerks than in the past, since bookkeeping functions in many offices
are being broken down into comparatively routine tasks performed by
bookkeeping machines and electronic computers. “Hand” bookkeepers
will continue to be in demand in large establishments to consolidate
machine results as well as in small establishments which employ one
general bookkeeper for all the analysis, recording, and other work
necessary to keep a complete set of books. Turnover will create most
of the more than 50,000 openings that are expected each year during the
remainder of the 1960’s.

The basic function of bookkeeping is to record monetary trans­
actions, balance books, and prepare summary reports showing receipts,
expenditures, and profit or loss. In a small firm one general book­
keeper may handle the complete set of books, prepare and mail monthly
statements to customers, make bank deposits, calculate employee wages,
and make out checks. She may use an adding machine or other simple
office machines, but most of her work is done by hand. She may also
file, type, and do other clerical work.
In a large bookkeeping department much of the work is done by
machine although posting and the preparation of summary reports
may be performed by hand. A number of bookkeeping workers, both
accounting clerks and bookkeeping machine operators, may work
under a head bookkeeper or an accountant. A class A accounting
clerk generally is responsible for keeping one or more sections of a
complete set of books. She may post and balance accounts receivable,
accounts payable, and other subsidiary ledgers, examining and coding
invoices or vouchers. A class B accounting clerk performs routine
accounting tasks, for example, simple posting and checking that does
not require a knowledge of accounting or bookkeeping principles.
A class A "bookkeeping machine operator keeps a set of records requir­
ing both a knowledge of basic bookkeeping principles and experience
in the particular system used in the office. A class B bookkeeping ma­
chine operator keeps records of a phase or section of a set of records


pa ■

Figure 6.

New automatic equipment has changed the bookkeeper’s job

usually requiring limited knowledge of bookkeeping principles. These
phases or sections may include accounts payable, payroll, and inventory
control. She also may assist in the preparation of trial balances and
prepare control sheets for the accounting department.
Over one-third of all women bookkeepers in the United States
in 1960 were working in retail stores or wholesale houses. About onefifth were employed in manufacturing companies, and about one-sixth
in finance, insurance, and real estate. Substantial numbers were
working in public utility or construction companies.

Training and Qualifications
Most employers prefer applicants who have a commercial high
school, vocational, or business school education that includes courses
in bookkeeping and business arithmetic. Some bookkeepers obtain
their training through correspondence courses. Junior college train­
ing is increasingly required. A growing number of large companies


offer some on-the-job training in bookkeeping practices. Skill in typ­
ing and in operating other office machines often is an asset to appli­
cants for bookkeeping jobs.
Bookkeepers and accounting clerks should have above average
aptitude for working with numbers and for concentrating on details.
Accuracy and a sense of order are essential. Some bookkeeping
machine operator jobs require an extensive knowledge of bookkeeping
procedures and practices. Others require principally finger dexterity
and good coordination of eye and hand.

Earnings and Working Conditions
Weekly earnings of women employed as class A accounting
clerks averaged $91 in 1962-63 according to a survey of 212 metro­
politan areas made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Weekly earn­
ings of women employed as class B accounting clerks in the same
survey averaged $77, while earnings of women bookkeeping machine
operators averaged from $66.50 to $82 a week. In general, salaries
were somewhat higher in manufacturing than in nonmanufacturing

The cashier’s job is a very familiar one to most people since many
cashiers deal directly with the public in grocery stores, restaurants,
hotels, theaters, and other retail and service establishments.
Almost 368,000 women were employed as cashiers in 1960, almost
double the number in 1950. About 73 percent of the women cashiers
in 1960 worked in food and dairy stores and other retail trade estab­
lishments. Creation of many of the new cashier positions resulted
from the displacement of retail clerks as self-service became wide­
spread in supermarkets, variety stores, and some department stores.
Over the long run the number of cashiers is expected to increase
fairly rapidly, though at a slower pace than in the decade 1950-60.
Many of the openings will be for part-time employment. Cashier
positions created by business expansion and additional self-service fa­
cilities will be partially offset by the installation of vending machines,
changemaking machines, and other kinds of mechanical equipment,
including automatic checkout machines, which replace the cashier or
speed up her work. Job competition is likely to remain keen, since
many cashier jobs demand little specialized training and offer oppor­
tunities for part-time work.




Figure 7.


Women find employment as cashiers in a variety of industries.

Cashiers total purchases, receive payment, make change, and bal­
ance out receipts at the end of the day. Additional duties usually
depend on the type of business of the employer. The checker in a
grocery store may bag purchases and, during slack periods, may re­
stock shelves and mark prices. A restaurant cashier may take reser­
vations for meals, type menus, and stock the cashier’s counter with
cigarettes and candy. A cashier or ticket seller in a theater may
answer telephone inquiries concerning the seats available and their
prices, and the times of the performances. She also may make ticket
reservations. Cashiers in a business office may perform a variety of
duties, including keeping records of cash transactions, receipts, and
disbursements; balancing cashbooks; and preparing payrolls, pay­
checks, and bank deposits. Titles for cashiers in these jobs include
cash accounting clerk, disbursement clerk: and credit cashier.
A cashier often uses a cash register which, as the sale is rung up,
prints a record of the amount on a, paper tape and releases a money
drawer. Cashiers in hotels and hospitals operate machines similar
to accounting machines to prepare itemized bills.


Training and Qualifications
Employers usually prefer to hire high school graduates as
cashiers. Courses in business arithmetic are generally considered
desirable. Bookkeeping, typing, or selling experience is required for
some cashier jobs. Cashier training is offered in a number of public
schools as part of the vocational program. Some firms give informal
on-the-job training or brief formal training courses.
In order to do her work with the required speed and accuracy,
a cashier needs finger dexterity, good hand and eye coordination, and
an ability to do quick mental arithmetic. Since often she is located
at an exit or entrance point; she needs to be alert and observant. Like
other workers who deal directly with the public, the cashier should be
neat in appearance and have a pleasant manner.

Earnings and Working Conditions
Many large business firms in metropolitan areas paid cashiers
without previous experience about $50 a week in 1962. Cashiers in
motion picture theaters in many localities generally earned less than
$1 an hour. Experienced cashiers in some types of retail stores earned
$60 to $70 a week, while hotel cashiers in some large cities earned about
$85 a week. Restaurants often paid cashiers lower salaries than did
other types of establishments, but provided one or two meals a day.
A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey which covered eating and drink­
ing places in 26 metropolitan areas in 1961 reported an average hourly
rate of less than $1 to almost $2 for cashiers. Cashier-checkers in
supermarkets earned up to $100 to $120 a week, according to limited
data available. The relatively high wage level of this group was
due partly to the high degree of union organization.
Cashiers in supermarkets and other large retail business firms
usually work a 5-day 40-hour week, a number of them on split shifts.
Evening and Saturday hours are common and some cashiers, particu­
larly in the West, work Sundays. The work schedules of cashiers in
restaurants and places of entertainment include holidays, weekends,
and evenings.
About one-third of the women who worked as cashiers in 1960
were part-time employees. Some large food chains have reported
that as many as two-thirds of their cashiers are part-time workers. A
typical schedule for these workers includes two or three evenings a
week and all day Saturday. Some stores use part-time cashiers during
midday peaks and on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.


Cashiers may spend most of their working hours standing. Their
working spaces may be confining.
Cashiers who work in retail stores may be members of the Retail
Clerks International Association or the Retail, Wholesale, and De­
partment Store Union. These unions are affiliated with the

In the decade 1950-60 the number of women working as bank
tellers increased at a more rapid rate than the number of women work­
ing in any other major clerical occupation. In 1950 there were
fewer than 29,000 women tellers; in 1960 there were over 89,000 wo­
men in this occupation. For many of them it was a part-time job.
Although the work of tellers is being speeded by computers which
process transactions while the customer is at the teller’s window (see
page 4), further expansion in the number of tellers is expected.
This increase will be in part an indirect result of anticipated increases
in production, sales, and national income. Additional tellers also
will be needed as a direct result of changes in banking facilities and
services, including the establishment of new suburban branches, the
increase in the length of banking hours, and the expansion of such
services as revolving check credit plans and the payment of utility
bills and charge accounts.

The specific duties of tellers vary widely, depending on the size
of the bank, the types of accounts it handles, and the use it makes of
automation and other technological innovations. In every bank, how­
ever, there is at least one faying and receiving teller. This teller
receives deposits from individuals or commercial firms and pays with­
drawals. She credits or debits the customer’s account, cashes checks,
and, after public banking hours, balances her accounts. She may
write up or sign deposit or withdrawal slips, sort deposit slips and
checks, and perform other incidental duties. In the course of her
work, she may use machines for making change and totaling deposits,
as well as operate a bookkeeping machine which makes entries simul­
taneously in the customer’s passbook and on the bank’s ledger. In
some banks a computer system connects individual tellers with the main
office and processes transactions while the customer is at the teller’s
window. Both the hand! ing of the transaction and the teller’s after­


hour balancing of accounts are speeded by the use of this system. In
large banks a teller’s duties may include supervision of one or more
clerks. In a small bank, her work may include bookkeeping duties.
Large banks have specialized tellers whose titles reflect their spe­
cial province. Trust tellers, for example, deal in promissory notes,
securities tellers collect charges and payments on securities, and
foreign exchange tellers purchase and sell foreign currencies. These
are only a few of many specific titles. One of the newest job titles is
drime-in teller, used to identify the teller who services the customer
who banks from her car.

Training and Qualifications
The work of a teller is exacting; it requires accuracy, speed, and
a good memory for faces and signatures. The teller must be able to
meet the standards set by bonding companies. Since she represents
the bank to most of its customers, it is also important for her to be
courteous, helpful, tactful, and neat in appearance.
Teller positions generally are filled from among the bookkeepers,
stenographers, or clerk-typists already on the staff. Both seniority and
clerical ability are considered.
High school graduation is the minimum educational requirement
for teller positions. Some skill in operating office machines is desirable.
Experienced tellers who have taken the banking courses offered to all
bank employees by the American Institute of Banking may be ad­
vanced in some cases to officer positions, especially if they have had
some college training.

Earnings and Working Conditions
Salaries of women commercial and savings tellers who had less
than 5 years’ service ranged from an average of $49.50 to $71.50 per
week according to a 1960 survey of banks in 27 metropolitan areas
throughout the country. The earnings of part-time tellers were in­
cluded in these salaries.
Most tellers work a 37^- to 40-hour week, although they may
have to work late at least once a week. Tellers who work in banks
which are open on Saturday may work either a 6-day or a split week.
A still small but growing number of tellers work less than 35 hours
a week. Many of these are in suburban branches where their work
may include early morning, evening, and Saturday hours. Many
tellers stand most of the day, moving about frequently at their


Today, less than 100 years since the sale of the first typewriter,
there is an office machine available for almost every clerical task.
Some are simple contrivances, operated by general clerical employees
as they go about their various duties. Others are complex mechanisms
requiring the full time of a team of employees. Many office machines,
including some of the newest, are based on variations of the typewriter
keyboard, but developments since World War II include paper con­
veyors, motorized files, and a wide variety of copiers operating on
camera or contact processes.
The acceleration in the development and use of office machines
is illustrated by the history of machine copiers. Copiers were rela­
tively unknown before the Korean war. Today about 175 different
models are offered by 40 manufacturers, and more than 400,000 copy­
ing machines are in operation rolling out about 10 billion copies
The number of women working as office machine operators in­
creased from about 117,000 in 1050 to about 228,000 in 1960. Business
growth, new machines, and turnover will create many thousands of
openings for office machine operators during the remainder of the
1960’s. In the long run automation probably will retard the growth
rate in the number of office machine operators although the total
number of operators is expected to continue to rise.
Kapid changes underway in business technology make it im­
possible to predict with any accuracy the future demand for operators
of specific office machines. A case in point is the keypunch operator.
Some of these jobs are being eliminated by optical scanners which
read original documents and record the data on magnetic tape or
punched cards or which, in some cases, transmit the data directly to
an electronic computer. However, the rapid spread of small- and
medium-size computers which use cards has sustained the demand for
keypunch operators to date. It is expected that the demand for
keypunch operators will begin to level off and may even decline.
In the case of tabulating machine operators, the transfer of data
processing from tabulating machines to computers will affect some
jobs. On the other hand, as costs of tabulating machines decrease,
their use will spread to smaller firms. The number of duplicating
machine operators may be affected by the growing use of automatic
typewriters and the direct copy of computer-printed output by micro­
photography and other techniques. The analysis of systems and pro­
4 These occupations include those which involve use of the most common varieties of
office machines as the main assignment. For personnel using computers, see page 43.
For bookkeeping machine operators, see page 30.


cedures that usually precedes the installation of a computer also may
anect the number of duplicating machine operators insofar as it un­
covers records that can be eliminated.
Office machine operators are more concentrated in large cities
than most kinds of office workers. Roughly one-third of all office
machine operators worked for manufacturing companies in 1960. Al­
most one-fourth were employed in finance, insurance, and real estate,
and about one-sixth in wholesale or retail trade. Federal, State, and
local governments employed over one-tenth of the total. A growing
number are employed in service centers which are equipped to handle
office machine work on a contract basis.

The nature of a machine operator’s work depends on the type of
equipment used. In the operation of some machines—for example,
billing, adding, and calculating machines—workers repeatedly press
numbered or lettered keys on a keyboard. Other machines—duplicat­
ing, mailing, and tabulating machines—run automatically for long
periods once they are set in motion by operators. Most of these jobs
are routine in nature, as operators usually are given assignments on
only one machine. Job titles often designate the equipment used.
Billing Machine Operator.—These operators constitute one of
the largest groups who work on office machines. These employees
prepare statements, bills, and invoices. The operator of a computertype billing machine transcribes from office records the customer’s
name, address, and the items purchased or services rendered, using
keys similar to those of a typewriter. The machine calculates such
items as totals, net amounts, and discounts, and prints them on a bill.
The operator of a standard billing machine may use an adding
machine or a calculating machine to make needed computations.
Calculating and Adding Machine Operotor.-These operators, as
well as Comptometer operators, make the computations needed in
preparing payrolls, invoices, financial accounts, and other business
or statistical reports. Job titles vary from one company to another.
Calculating machines today are such that they can be used not
only to add and subtract but also to multiply, divide, take square root,
and do other computations. They are especially useful in computing
discounts, interest, percentages, indexes, and calculations involved in
taking inventories. By striking numbered keys, operators put into
these machines appropriate numbers. By pressing other keys, they
make the indicated calculations, and then record the results. There


are three major types of calculators: the nonprinting type, the print­
ing calculating or adding machine, and the Comptometer. Such ma­
chines may be electric or manual.
Many operators of adding and calculating machines perform other
clerical duties. However, operators of the most complex calculating
machines—the Comptometer type—usually devote full time to the
operation of their machines.
Duplicating Machine Operator.—Mimeograph or Ditto machines
are run by duplicating machine operators. These machines can
produce several thousand or more copies of a typewritten or hand­
written document quickly and inexpensively. The job of the operator
is to insert in the machine a master copy—a stencil or a Ditto—of the
document to be reproduced; to adjust the ink flow, paper-feed counter,
and cylinder speed; and to start and stop the machine. Some opera­
tors sort, collate, and staple the copies.
Copying machines which use photographic and chemical proc­
esses usually are operated by clerical workers as an incidental duty.
These machines generally are suitable for making only a limited num­
ber of copies.
Mail Preparing and Mail Handling Operator.—These operators
run the automatic equipment which handles office mail. Some
of these workers open envelopes, using a machine that cuts a thin slice
off one edge of a stack of envelopes. Others operate machines that
fold enclosures and insert them into envelopes, or that moisten
gummed flaps and seal them, or that print addresses and related infor­
mation from stencils or embossed metal plates. Some operators use
machines that affix a postage stamp or print a post date and a canceled
postage permit mark on a piece of mail.
Tabulating Machine Operator:—The operators of these and re­
lated machines run the equipment which includes the keypunch, veri­
fier, sorter, and collator, as well as the tabulating machine. These
jobs usually are found in large establishments in many industries,
including government, trade, transportation, communication, and
manufacturing. Generally the work is divided so that each major
operation is performed by a different occupational group, although
tabulating machine operators may also operate sorters and collators.
Keypunch Operator.—Data are transcribed by these operators from
source documents to keypunch cards. Using a machine similar to a
typewriter, the operator punches holes in the cards, using the posi­


tion of the holes to represent specific items of information. The key­
punch machine may have a keyboard that is numeric, alphabetic,
or a combination of both. A class A keypunch operator must be able
to code, and may be required to locate and interpret information on
the document, and to work from several documents. She may train
inexperienced operators. A class B keypunch operator transcribes
data which require little or no selecting, coding, or interpreting. The
verifier operator uses a keypunch-type machine to check and verify
the accuracy of the information punched on cards.
The sorting machine operator sets the controls of the sorting de­
vice to achieve the sorting which is desired and runs the punched cards
through the machine. Similarly, the collating machine operator uses
a machine to merge or match sets of cards.
The tabulating machine operator inserts the sorted punched cards
into a machine which lists and counts the various items punched on
each card, multiplies and makes other calculations, and prints the re­
sults on accounting records and other business forms. The work may
involve some wiring from diagrams and the lifting of heavy trays.

Training and Qualifications
Graduation from high school or business school generally is re­
quired for all but the most routine office machine jobs. Training in
the operation of various business machines is given in many high
schools. For most beginning jobs, a general knowledge of the kind
of equipment used is usually sufficient. Specialized training is cus­
tomarily required for operators of Comptometer-type calculators and
some kinds of tabulating and duplicating equipment. Business arith­
metic is valuable for jobs involving work with figures. Some skill in
typing and the ability to operate more than one type of office machine
also are useful.
Some organizations train their owTn workers on the job and pay
them a trainee’s wage until they reach a certain level of proficiency.
Several weeks of training usually are required for operators of calcu­
lating, keypunch, and tabulating machines. Only a few days may be
required to train operators of some duplicating or mail-handling ma­
chines. Even employees with training or experience in operating office
machines may need time to familiarize themselves with the specific
equipment they will be using. Often minor, and sometimes major, dif­
ferences exist between machines built by different manufacturers, or
between a new model and an old model. Many workers are trained in
schools maintained by machine manufacturers.


Figure 8.

The majority of clerical workers learn their basic office skills in
high school.

Office machine operators are required to be able to operate their
machines with a high degree of speed and accuracy. This requires
finger dexterity, good coordination of eye and hand movements, and
good vision. Machine operators must be able to concentrate despite
distractions. They must also be alert, to detect obvious errors as they
work on their assignments. Some mechanical ability is useful,
especially to duplicating and tabulating machine operators.
The rapid evolution of office machines is causing employers to add
“flexibility” to the qualities they look for in machine operators.
Changing technology demands a readiness at any age to acquire new7


Earnings and Working Conditions
A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey which covered large firms in
212 metropolitan areas in 1962-63 reported average weekly earnings
of $86 for women operating the more difficult tabulating or electri­
cal accounting machines, and $70.50 for women operating such equip­
ment as the sorter, reproducing punch, or collator. For keypunch
operators on more difficult types of assignment, average weekly earn­
ings were $82.50 a week, and for other keypunch operators, $71.50 a
week. Comptometer operators averaged earnings of $78 a week.
Average weekly earnings for women billing machine operators were
$71.50; for women working as duplicating machine operators, $68.50.
Average salaries of women employed in selected office machine
occupations in 17 metropolitan areas are shown in table 3.
Advancement opportunities are rather limited for most office ma­
chine operators. Some may be promoted to more difficult work of
greater responsibility, and then to supervisory jobs. Some keypunch
or verifier operators may be promoted after further training to tabu­
lating equipment operator, or to jobs in data processing. Operators
of tabulating machines may advance to preparing wiring unit dia­
grams, then to project planning. A knowledge of tabulating equip­
ment operation is useful in many electronic data processing operations.
The job of an office machine operator has some aspects in common
with factory work. The high cost of office machines often gives rise
to shift work and a pressure for speed in order to make the most ef­
ficient use of equipment. Records often are kept on the output of key­
punch operators. The noise of the machines adds to the factory at­
mosphere and is disturbing to some employees. The rapid working
l'hythm coupled with tension and noise may cause extreme fatigue in
some workers. For many employees machine operation is more tir­
ing than manual methods of copying and calculating. Tabulating
machine operators often stand for long periods at their machines, and
may be required to lift and move metal drawers of punched cards
weighing up to 30 pounds each.

In the last decade, electronic data processing (EDP) has opened
up a new group of clerical jobs. Common titles of those employed in
the operation of computer systems include coding clerk, console
operator, peripheral equipment operator, and tape librarian. In addi­
tion to these jobs, a number of others are evolving which are not yet
clearly defined. EDP also has increased, for the immediate future, the
demand for keypunch operators.


Table 3.—Average weekly earnings1 of women in selected office machine occupations in 17 metropolitan areas, 1962-63

Billers, machine
Metropolitan area

Boston, Mass __________
Ruffnlo N Y

Los Angeles-Long Beach,
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn_
New York, N.Y
-- —
Philadelphia, Pa .
----Pittsburgh, Pa ------San Franciseo-Oakland,
Seattle, Wash __
_ _

tometer cating
opera­ machine
Class A Class B
Class B

Bookkeeping ma­
chine operators

machine keeping Class A










$62. 00











77. 00

87. 50
82. 50

78. 50
81. 00

95. 00
79. 50

76. 50
68. 50

90. 00
85. 00

62. 50
74. 50
70. 50
73. 50



74. 00
65. 50









87. 00
83. 00

Tabulating machine

Class A

Class B

Class C

$77. 00
77. 50
77. 00
90. 50
94. 00
93. 50
85. 50
89. 50





$93. 00

117. 50

104. 00
101. 00
107. 00

82. 00
73. 00

i Earnings relate to regular straight-time salaries that are paid lor standard workweeks.
Note.—Dashes indicate no data reported or data do not meet publication criteria.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wages and Related Benefits, Part, I 82 Labor Markets, 1982-1983, Bull. No. 1345-83.



94. 50
87. 50

70. 00

Exact information on the number of clerical workers engaged in
the operation of computers is not available at this time. The total
undoubtedly is small in comparison with the other clerical occupations
covered in this bulletin. The experience of the Federal Government,
however, serves as an illustration of the growth taking place in com­
puter jobs. In 1961 there were about 35,000 Federal workers em­
ployed in data processing; by June 30, 1964, computer personnel in
Federal employment totaled 53,600. Further increases are antici­
pated, since the number of computer systems in operation in the Fed­
eral Government is expected to total 1,946 by 1965, an increase of
179 over the number in operation in 1964.
Computer personnel in private industry greatly outnumbers that
in the Federal Government. There is general agreement that the
number of computers in the private sector also will continue to grow
rapidly. For example, a survey of commercial banks made in March
1962 indicated that the number of such banks with computers would
more than double within the next 3 years. Electronic data processing
personnel is concentrated at the present time in certain industries,
particularly in firms manufacturing transportation and electrical
equipment, in insurance and finance companies, and in government

Job titles and duties in the computer occupations are still fluid.
The descriptions of duties which follow pertain to certain major
clerical jobs in computer systems used for payroll processing, sales
analysis, inventory controls, billing, and other office records. They
do not cover jobs in systems used in connection with controlling
factory production or in technical and scientific work, nor do they
cover all the occupations necessary to the operation of a computer
system. For example, data to be processed on the computer may be
on punched cards prepared by keypunch operators, an occupation
discussed in a previous section.5 In some systems the data are on
paper tapes prepared by typists or by bookkeeping or adding machine
operators working with special perforating equipment. The duties
of these workers are essentially the same as those of workers who use
ordinary typewriters or bookkeeping or adding machines. In addi­
tion to the data to be processed, a computer’s input also includes the
step-by-step instructions prepared by a programer. Programer jobs
often are considered professional6 and so are not covered in this
8 See p. 40.
6 See Women’s Bureau publication “Job Horizons for College Women in the 1960’s.”


Coding Clerk.—Data are converted by these clerks into codes for use
in computer processing. The coder must recognize omissions and
errors in the data to be coded, make corrections, and assign codes
according to a predetermined system. In some cases, such as coding
of checks for optical scanners, the process is more simple. Clerks who
do this work use a data encoding machine, and often are called
document encoders.
Coding for a computer requires extreme accuracy, and an ability
to assimilate, retain, and apply a large amount of information. The
work is repetitive.
Peripheral Equipment Operator.—These operators run auxiliary
units in the computer system. These units include converters
which transfer data from cards or paper tapes to magnetic tapes, and
printers which translate the computer’s output into words and num­
bers. Peripheral equipment operators may wire a fairly simple plug­
board, although the equipment requiring manually wired boards is
becoming less prevalent. These operators should be able to identify
cards or tapes which have been punched incorrectly. They should
have a general understanding of the operation of the computer system,
and must know how to interpret signals from the control panel on
their equipment.
Many operators run all types of peripheral equipment used in a
particular computer installation. Some units which are relatively
difficult to operate, however, are run . by operators who handle only
that unit.
Console Operator. ■—Those responsible for controlling the Actual
operation or running of the computer system are called console op­
erators. They insure that the proper programs and data are loaded
into the computer according to the time schedule provided. In some
cases this requires checking the work of the peripheral equipment
operators. In other cases the console operator may load peripheral
units. Guided by the programer’s instructions for running the job,
the console operator takes the necessary action if an error is signaled
or if the computer stops. In some systems the printer is connected
directly to the computer and monitored by the console operator. Con­
sole operators may have to wire plugboards, although the use of pre­
wired, interchangeable plugboards is now widespread.
Tape Librarian.—Responsibility for classifying and storing tapes
after a run and making them available again if needed is assigned to
these librarians. Sometimes the console operator or peripheral equip­
ment operator does this work along with her major duties.


Training and Qualifications
Data processing jobs frequently are filled by personnel already
employed in the office. Those whose jobs have been eliminated by the
installation of a computer (such as tabulating or bookkeeping machine
operators) and who pass an aptitude test often are considered for these
openings. Some computer personnel, particularly those for complex
technical jobs, are recruited from the outside.
Most employers require computer personnel to have at least a
high school education for positions in data processing. College train­
ing may be required for console operators. Previous experience in
computer work and aptitude for it sometimes are substituted for a
part of the educational requirements. Hiring requirements may be
more strict for outsiders.
Many employers, including the Federal Government, administer
aptitude tests to applicants for data processing positions. Extreme
accuracy, attentiveness, and the ability to follow instructions are
needed in all computer occupations, and mechanical aptitude is
required in some.
Equipment manufacturers have provided a major source of train­
ing to date. A number of city high schools offer courses in computeroriented mathematics and in computer operation. Courses in data
processing are also available in almost 300 colleges and universities
and in more than 130 private data processing schools and business
colleges. Most employees receive some on-the-job instruction. The
training of peripheral equipment operators may require a few weeks;
and that of console operators from 2 to 6 months or longer, although
some console operator jobs are very routine and require little training.

Earnings and Working Conditions
According to a private survey of computer operating personnel
in over 500 companies in 1962, the average salary for beginning con­
sole operators was $85 a week. The more experienced console oper­
ators earned from $95 to $105 a week, and senior console operators
earned from $115 to $135. The average salary of peripheral equip­
ment operators working with high-speed printers was around $95 a
week. Tape librarians averaged about $90 a week. There were wide
ranges in salaries. Employees in some occupational categories earned
twice as much as others, depending on the area, the industry, and
the difficulty of the job. Identical job titles were, sometimes used for
jobs that varied widely in the amount of skill required.
Salaries of computer personnel in the Federal Government are
roughly comparable with those in private industry. The entrance


salary for trainee console operators in late 1964 was $5,000 a year ($96
a week). Inexperienced peripheral equipment operators started at
$3,985 a year ($76.50 a week).
Experienced operating personnel may be assigned to operate more
complex equipment. Some may be promoted to supervisory positions.
Console operators who develop an understanding of programing
sometimes are trained for programer positions.
Operators of electronic computer systems generally work the
same number of weekly hours and enjoy the same vacations, holidays,
and fringe benefits as other office employees. Many console and pe­
ripheral equipment operators work on a swing shift or night shift.
Tape librarians usually work only during the daytime.


Chapter III

Today more women—over 7 million of them—find employment in
clerical jobs than in any other group of occupations. They outnumber
women service workers by more than 1 million and women operatives
by more than 8y2 million.

What Jobs Do Women Hold?
Although women are found in every type of clerical work, almost
two-thirds of them are concentrated in seven occupations. Out of
every 100 women clerical workers in I960,27 were secretaries or stenog­
raphers and 8 were typists. Another 12 were bookkeepers. Six were
employed as cashiers and five as telephone operators.1 Office machine
operators accounted for another 4 of the 100. The remaining 38
women of the 100 were employed in a great variety of clerical jobs.
(See table 4.)

Where Do They Work?
A look at the industries in which women clerical workers are em­
ployed shows that 20 out of 100 of these women in 1960 were employed
in the offices of manufacturing plants, doing the clerical work neces­
sary to the production of aircraft, textiles, soda crackers, and the
whole array of manufactured goods. Almost as many, 18 out of 100,
were in wholesale or retail trade. Another 16 were in offices that
offered medical, educational, legal, or other professional services.
Finance and insurance offices employed 14 out of the 100. Local,
State, and Federal governments employed another 11. In all, these
five major industries offered employment to about 80 out of every 100
1 For information on clerical jobs in the telephone industry, see Women’s Bureau pub­
lication “Women Telephone Workers and Changing Technology.”


Table 4.—Leading clerical occupations for women, 1960





1950 to

Secretaries and stenographers
1, 681, 906
764, 054
Typists _
496, 735
Cashiers,367, 954
Telephone operators________________ __
341, 797
Office machine operators _______________
227, 849
Receptionists_______ ,
131, 142
File clerks , ,
112, 323
Bank tellers
89, 465
Attendants, physicians’ and dentists’ offices___
68, 944
Payroll and timekeeping clerks,,_
63, 681
Stock clerks and storekeepers
48, 718
Postal clerks
38, 210


1 Less than 0.5 percent decrease.
Source: U.S. Census of Population: 1960, U.S. Summary, Detailed Characteristics, table 202.

women clerical workers. The rest were working in a variety of in­
dustries, including public utilities, business services, and recreation.
About 80 out of 100 women employed as clerical workers in 1960
worked for a wage or salary in private industry. About 17 were em­
ployed by the government. The rest were unpaid family workers or
were self-employed.
The widespread availability of clerical jobs throughout the coun­
try is one of the advantages of clerical work. Again, however, there
is a concentration. The Northeast and North-Central regions to­
gether provided about three-fifths of all clerical employment in 1960,
almost equally divided between them. Of the remaining two-fifths,
the South employed half again as many as the West. There are cler­
ical jobs in suburban and rural as well as urban areas. Nationwide,
85 percent of the clerical workers were employed in urban areas.
More than half the clerical workers who lived in the suburbs also
worked there.

Ratios of Men and Women in Clerical Jobs
Women hold two-thirds of all the clerical jobs. Some clerical
occupations are filled almost entirely by women, while others employ
but few women. Ninety-five percent or more of all secretaries, ste­
nographers, typists, receptionists, attendants in physicians’ or den-


tists’ offices, and telephone operators are women. Other occupations
predominantly filled by women include file clerk, bookkeeper, cashier,
library attendant and assistant, office machine operator, bank teller,
and payroll and timekeeping clerk. (See chart B.)
The ratio of the number of women workers to the number of men
workers in office occupations is constantly changing. For example,
men outnumbered women as bank tellers in 1950. Over the following
decade, however, an average increase of 211 percent in the number of
women tellers contrasted with an average increase of 12 percent for
men tellers. As a result, the ratio in 1960 was 9 women to 4 men.
Men also outnumbered women as payroll and timekeeping clerks in
1950, but the 1960 ratio was 3 women to 2 men. Other clerical occupa­
tions in which the number of women has been increasing at a more
rapid rate than the number of men include insurance adjusters, ex­
aminers, and investigators; stock clerks and storekeepers; and ticket,
station, and express agents. On the other hand, although the number
of women office machine operators increased 95 percent between 1950
and 1960, the increase in men’s employment in this occupation was al­
most 217 percent.

What Training Is Needed?
As today’s offices undergo rapid technological development, edu­
cational and training requirements are rising. The narrowing of op­
portunities for unskilled workers, coupled with an increasing demand
for workers with the broad education and training that promote flex­
ibility, is encouraging growing numbers of students to continue their
education beyond high school. Some clerical positions now require
post high school training or even college work. This is true not only
for trainee jobs that lead to higher level administrative or profes­
sional positions, but also for an increasing number of other clerical
jobs. As automation and other technological advances eliminate a
number of low-skill jobs, continuing education, retraining, and re­
fresher courses also assume growing importance.
Many public schools offer training in business subjects which,
together with English, mathematics, and other academic courses, pro­
vide the basic skills and education needed for clerical work. A number
of schools carry on work-study programs in cooperation with em­
ployers in the community. Students in these programs may spend
half a day in school studying academic and business subjects and work
the other half day in offices. A survey made by the Department of
Labor in 1963 showed that high school commercial and vocational
courses were the largest single source of training for women—repre­
senting over half of all the training of women.



Clerical Occupations in Which Women Comprised a Majority of All Workers, 1960



All clerical occupations
Attendants (physicians’ and
dentists' offices)
Secretaries, stenographers
Telephone operators


File clerks
Attendants, assistants (library)
Office machine operators
Bank tellers
Payroll, timekeeping clerks
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census: 1960 Census of Population.





The Vocational Education Act of 1963 for the first time authorized
the inclusion of business courses in the vocational education program
supported by the Federal Government. Under the act, Federal funds
may be authorized for programs in the vocational education depart­
ments of regular high schools, in specialized high schools used princi­
pally for vocational education, in technical or vocational schools
providing training to those out of high school who are studying full
time to prepare for jobs, and to colleges and universities which provide
vocational education in at least five different occupational fields.
Approximately 250,000 students are enrolled each year in some
1,300 private business schools, and a number of other students attend
2- or 4-year colleges. About 215 business schools are accredited by the
Accrediting Commission for Business Schools, which is recognized by
the U.S. Office of Education as an accrediting agency. A survey con­
ducted 4 years ago of some 250 colleges revealed that courses for office
workers were listed by about 60 percent of them. This was a smaller
proportion, however, than was true 30 years ago.
Training in a wide range of clerical work is also available through
correspondence courses. The Office of Education has recognized the
National Home Study Council as an accrediting agency for corre­
spondence schools.

•§» m St
I I 1 t Y * *



9. Some girls train for office jobs in private business schools or colleges.


Business machine manufacturers offer some instruction on their
equipment. Employers also often provide on-the-j ob training, but the
majority of clerical workers learn their jobs through formal instruc­
tion. Training in certain clerical occupations, including general office
clerk, stenographer, and typist, is available in many localities under
the Manpower Development Training Act and the Area Redevelop­
ment Act.

What About Aptitudes?
The rapid changes underway in clerical work today put a
premium on adaptability and general aptitude. Some clerical jobs,
as we have seen in previous sections, do not offer the opportunities
they did formerly. Duties and requirements in other clerical occu­
pations are changing. New jobs are opening up. All these develop-




Many handicapped workers have successful careers in offices.


ments require flexibility—a willingness to make the adjustments nec­
essary, whether it is an upgrading of skills, the acquisition of new
skills, or a willingness to accept transfer to another department, even
to another city.
Aptitude and interest tests can be very helpful in matching ap­
plicants with jobs. Aptitude tests for clerical occupations are avail­
able at many local public employment offices. These tests are given
without charge, as a public service.
Manual and finger dexterity and good vision are essential for most
types of office work. Some employers routinely require a physical
examination. A physical handicap, however, need not be a barrier
to employment if it does not interfere with attendance or job per­
formance. Promptness, neatness, and a pleasant and friendly man­
ner usually are specified requirements for clerical workers. Good
judgment, initiative, discretion, and the ability to make decisions are
important in the more responsible positions.

What About Earnings?
Earnings of clerical workers vary with the responsibility or skill
level of the job; length of the workweek; length of service and experi­
ence; and the location, size, and type of business of the employer.
Office salaries tend to be highest in metropolitan areas and in the
western part of the country. Industrywise, the highest salaries for
most office occupations are found in public utilities. Salaries tend
to be somewhat higher in manufacturing firms than in wholesale
and retail trade, finance, insurance, or real estate.
In 1962, half of the women clerical workers employed full time
full year earned more than $3,897, and half earned less. Wages of
women in 16 office occupations in 212 areas in 1962-63 ranged from an
average of $56.50 a wreek for class C file clerks to an average of $96.50
a week for secretaries. (See table 5.) Within each occupation, how­
ever, there was a wide salary range. For example, some file clerks
earned less than $10 a week, while others earned more than $100.
Salaries for clerical workers in the Federal Government are
established by grade, based on the level of skill or responsibility of the
position. Each grade has a salary range. Employees whose work is
acceptable are given periodic increases until the top salary for the
grade is reached.
Most inexperienced clerical workers enter Federal service through
examination at the grade 2 or 3 level. Some clerical workers, how-


Table 5.—Average weekly earnings of women in selected office occupations in 212
metropolitan areas, 1962-63

Weekly earnings

_ _ _ _____
__ ___________
Accounting clerks, class A __
_ _ _
_ __ ____
Stenographers, senior
Tabulating operators, class B
_ _ ____________ _ __
Keypunch operators, class A_
Bookkeeping machine operators, class A
__ ______
Payroll clerks
_ _
__ _
Comptometer operators-__ _____________
Stenographers, general
_ _
_ _
Typists, class A__ _____ _
___ __________
File clerks, class A_
Switchboard operators
_ _ __
Order clerks-_
__ __
__ ______
Switchboard operator-receptionists
_ _ _
_ _ _
Accounting clerks, class B _____ -_____ ______
_ _ _ _ __
Billers, machine _ ______
_ _ __
_ __
Keypunch operators, class B___
Transcribing machine operators, general
___________ _ _ _ _
Tabulating machine operators, class C _
Duplicating machine operators 1
__ _
Bookkeeping machine operators, class B
__ ____
Billers (bookkeeping machine)
_ Typists, class B _ _ ______ __
__ ___
File clerks, class B
Office girls _
File clerks, class C
__ _________

$96. 50
91. 00
89. 00
86. 00
82 50
82. 00
81. 00
78. 00
77. 50
77. 50
77. 50
73. 00
73. 00
72. 50
72. 00
71. 50
71. 50
71. 50
70. 50

68. 50
66. 50
66. 50



1 Includes Mimeograph or Ditto machine operators.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wages and Related Benefits, Part II:
Metropolitan Areas, United States and Regional Summaries, 1962-63. Bull. No. 1345-83.

ever, enter at grade 1 and a few at grade 4. Promotion is made to
higher grades on the basis of increased skills and superior perform­
ance. Table 6 shows beginning and top salaries of the first six grades.
Salary levels of clerical workers in the United States increased
2.6 percent during the year ending February 1963, according to the
annual nationwide salary survey made by the Bureau of Labor
Many clerical occupations offer good opportunities for advance­
ment. Some of the better paid positions require a knowledge of the
company, and often are filled by promotion from within. Skills, per­
sonal qualifications, and seniority within an establishment are impor­
tant considerations in selecting employees for promotion.


Table 6.—-Minimum

and maximum salaries for Federal clerical workers, grades
1 through 6, effective July 1964
Annual salary range


_______ ________




$3, 385
3, 680
4, 005
4, 480
5, 000
5, 505



Approximate weekly




Source: Government Employees’ Salary Reform Act of 1964.

What About Working Conditions?
Clerical workers in private industry generally have a 5-day work­
week of 35 to 40 hours. Three-fifths of the office workers surveyed in
the nationwide study of metropolitan areas made by the Department
of Labor in 1962-63 were scheduled to work a 40-hour week. The
40-hour workweek was more prevalent in the West than in other
regions. The average workweek of office workers in the Northeast,
was 37.7 hours—nearly 2 hours less than the average for any other
region. Federal Government employees work a 40-hour 5-day week.
Office workers generally receive at least 1 wTeek of paid vacation
after 1 year of service with their firm. Additional years of service
bring longer paid vacations, ranging up to 4 or more weeks. Fed­
eral Government employees receive 13 working days of paid vacation
each year during their first 3 years of service; 20 days after 3 but less
than 15 years; and 26 days for 15 years or more.
Almost all clerical employees in large cities receive six or more
paid holidays a year. A few, most of them in the Northeast, receive
11 or more holidays. Shorter vacations and fewer holidays tend to
prevail in smaller communities than in metropolitan areas. Hospitali­
zation, surgical, and medical insurance; life insurance; and sick bene­
fits are generally provided, as are pension plans which supplement
benefits paid under the Federal social security programs.
The words “office work” evoke a picture of clean work in
pleasant surroundings. This picture is generally valid. Mechani­
zation, however, has had mixed effects on working conditions. In
some cases the introduction of machines has spurred a modernization


of the office, with careful attention given to furnishings, color, and air
conditioning. Mechanization, however, in many cases has brought a
factory atmosphere into the office. The pressure for speed, the noise,
and the close attention to repetitive work may produce a strain on the
health of the worker. Eyestrain has always been an occupational
hazard in office work, but today, the importance of adequate lighting
is increasingly recognized.

Job Security
The unemployment rate for clerical workers is generally below
the rate for many other occupations, including service workers and
operatives. In 1963 only professional and technical workers; farm­
ers; and the manager, officer, and proprietary group had lower un­
employment rates than office workers. The unemployment rate for
women clerical employees in that year was 4.2 percent, compared with
a rate that averaged 5.4 percent for experienced workers in all occu­
pational groups. There are of course variations in the rate from one
clerical occupation to another. Secretaries, stenographers, and typists
enjoy greater security than other office workers.

Labor Unions
Union membership is held by a number of office workers, particu­
larly by those in large organizations. Nearly 140,000 women held
membership in the Communications Workers of America (AFL-CIO)
in 1962. Of these, the great majority were operators and other
clerical workers. The Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks,
Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employes (AFL-CIO) and
the Office Employes International Union (AFL-UIO) reported
48,000 and 40,000 women workers, respectively, in 1962.2 The Retail
Clerks International Association (AFL-CIO) and the Retail,
Wholesale and Department Store Union (AFL-CIO) also include
clerical workers in some private industries.
Federal Government workers may join the American Federation
of Government Employees (AFL-CIO) or other unions. Membership
in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Em­
ployees (AFL-CIO) is open to workers in State, county, and local
governments. Clerical workers in post offices have access to several
unions for postal workers. The United Federation of Postal Clerks
(AFL-CIO) included over 14,500 women in 1962.3
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics publication “Directory of National and International Labor
Unions in the United States, 1963.”
8 Ibid.


In addition, some office workers are members of the same union
that bargains for production, sales, service, or other nonoffice em­
ployees of their firm. Still other clerical workers belong to inde­
pendent organizations which represent only the workers in a single es­
tablishment and are not affiliated with a national union.



Appendix A

Electronic data processing is concentrated at the present time in
certain industries, particularly in firms manufacturing transportation
and electrical equipment, in insurance and finance companies, and in
government agencies, chiefly Federal. The current leadership in com­
puter installations is based on a number of factors, including the pres­
ence of large-volume, routine, paper processing operations, and re­
sources sufficient to provide the necessary risk capital and the required
technical knowledge. Despite the current concentration of computer
systems, EDP is presently in use in all major branches of manufactur­
ing and in many nonmanufacturing industries. The extension of
electronic data processing into every industry and into smaller offices
is anticipated as computer technology develops.
It is difficult at this time to gauge the full effects of computer sys­
tems on clerical jobs. EDP is still very new. There is little doubt,
however, that any development which represents such a radical de­
parture from the customary way of processing data will have an ap­
preciable effect on clerical tasks, and on the distribution and grouping
of clerical jobs within an office. Early experience with computer in­
stallations indicates that the following changes may be expected in
offices which shift to electronic data processing.

Centralization of Information Processing
To understand the effect that the installation of a computer system
has on jobs, it is useful to look first at its effect on office structure.
The efficient use of automated equipment—whether computers, tran­
scribing machines, or copying devices—favors centralization of infor­
mation processing. In general, the more expensive the equipment, the
greater is the incentive to centralize. For example, the installa­
tion of transcribing and copying machines in a large establishment
creates service centers within divisions, while computer installation


often moves the processing of data on such items as inventories, sales,
and wages from the old-line divisions to the computer area. Tf the
automating company is a farflung organization, the move to central­
ize may close or cut down the functions of local offices, and consolidate
clerical operations in regional offices or even in one national center.

Fewer Levels of Supervision
The other major structural change in some automated offices
has been a decrease in the number of supervisors and in the levels of
supervision. When clerical operations are transferred to computers
and office units are consolidated, supervisors are displaced along with
the workers they supervised. Although a limited number of new
supervisory jobs are created in the computer area, they do not equal
in number the supervisory positions eliminated and they may require
different skills and abilities.

Changes in Clerical Duties
The effects of electronic data processing go beyond the office struc­
ture or framework in which clerical jobs are located, and reach down
to the tasks of many office workers. The fundamental changes that
occur in clerical tasks are rooted in the shift of responsibility for proc­
essing data. In offices without computer systems, the clerical staff,
aided by a wide range of office machines, carries out the complete
data processing operation. In automated offices clerical duties re­
volve around “feed-in” to a computer. Other changes in clerical tasks
result from the detailed studies (systems analysis) of clerical duties,
office procedures, and workflow which usually precede the installa­
tion of a computer. Even though management decides not to install
the computer system, such studies often lead to greater office efficiency,
with less handling of records.

Upgrading vs. Downgrading
'Whether EDP upgrades more jobs than it downgrades is still
not clear. Many of the operations created—for example, sorting,
batching, and machine tending—are as standardized and routine as
the jobs eliminated. The degree of initiative required often is re­
duced along with the variety of duties. The computer preempts re­
sponsibility for setting priorities and determining the speed of op­
erations. It also controls the format, the quantity, and the quality of
the output. All these are factors which tend to downgrade jobs.
Moreover, as additional skills are built into the machine, growing
numbers of workers are denied the kind of on-the-job experience


which formerly increased their value to the firm and sometimes led
to advancement. On the other hand, EDP offers opportunities for
some clerical workers to move into planning, programing, and new
supervisory positions. Those selected for the new jobs, however,
often are college-trained men with company experience in accounting
and related work.

Jobs Most Affected
Although most clerical occupations are affected by the transfer
of data processing to computers, some are affected more than others.
Among those most affected are the clerks who do the sorting, routing,
classifying, filing, posting, checking, and maintaining of records. Tab­
ulating machine operators also are affected by the transfer of data
processing to computers, although the effect on the workers in this
group is somewhat mitigated by the fact that skills in this occupation
sometimes are transferable to computer occupations. Keypunch oper­
ators are affected by the installation of the more advanced computers
using devices which eliminate the need for punched cards. The ini­
tial result of electronic data processing, however, has been an in­
creased demand for keypunch operators. Other occupations affected
by automation include bookkeeping machine operators and some occu­
pations involving computing and statistical work.
In general terms, the unskilled, routine jobs are most affected
by EDP. The clerical occupations which are least affected are those
which involve public relations. Between these two groups is a
large group of semiskilled workers who will be affected according
to their particular skills, the way in which computer technology de­
velops, the type of industry in which they are employed, and their
job status—whether full time or part time, year round or seasonal.
Peak loads are scarcely more demanding than normal loads to a com­
puter that can put out, for example, 3,500 characters a second.

EDP Also Creates Jobs
Computers also generate clerical jobs. Some of the jobs created
are directly related to the operation of the computer. In other cases,
installation of EDP leads to expanded reporting and control systems
which require the services of clerical workers. A variety of jobs—
some of them clerical—also are generated in the plants making com­
puters, and in the service centers, consulting firms, and other business
services connected with the use of computers. New industries, such
as aerospace, generated others; for without the use of computers their
needs for practically instantaneous calculations could not be met.


Problems of Adjustment
The introduction of electronic data processing requires consider­
able adjustment on the part of clerical employees.1 It already has
resulted in many transfers of personnel to other jobs, to other divi­
sions, or even to other regions. A number of workers who have been
transferred had “identified” with their pre-computer jobs. Some
had exercised a. degree of responsibility and initiative that are not
theirs in the work assigned to them in the computer system. The
previous job may have offered variety, while the demands of the new
job may be primarily for accuracy, speed, patience, unrelaxed atten­
tion, and a sense of responsibility for costly equipment. The former
job may have been “people oriented”; the new job is “machine ori­
ented.” Some transfers to the swing shift or night shift have been
made from the day shift that is traditional for clerical employees. The
changeover to computers generally is accompanied by uneasiness
among employees over the effects on their duties and by fears of
unemployment. To date few clerical employees have lost their jobs,
since the period required for computer installation has been sufficiently
long to permit normal attrition to forestall discharges.

Smoothing the Transition to Automation
Studies of offices which have introduced EDP have revealed a
number of ways in which the impact on office workers can be lessened.
Basic to them all is planning. Initiative is required on the part of
the employer and on the part of the employee. In offices where a
union is a recognized bargaining agent for the employees, the union
may play a significant role. The adjustment to EDP is facilitated
if management informs employees of the changeover well in advance;
if it inventories skills and aptitudes; if it offers counseling, guidance,
and retraining. It is important for conversion to be scheduled over a
period of time sufficient not only for retraining and reassigning em­
ployees, but also for using turnover to effect reduction in office
personnel. The employee can enhance her prospects by improving
and expanding her skills, taking advantage of training opportunities,
and demonstrating a flexible attitude.
Although the impact of automation can be cushioned, the experi­
ences of offices which already have introduced electronic data proc­
essing would indicate that EDP will bring substantial cuts in per­
sonnel in some offices and will slow the growth in the total number
of clerical jobs relative to the amount of clerical work to be done.
1 Arlen Gray, “Problems of Adjustment in the Automated Office.”
August, 1964, American Management Association, Inc.


In Personnel, July-

Appendix B

Source material for this report includes many of the following
references, which are suggested for further reading.
Persons interested in the occupations covered in this report, or
in other kinds of clerical work, will want to consult a number of
additional reports in this field. The following Government publica­
tions 1 provide a great deal of information about office work. Most of
them are available in public libraries.
U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. 20210
Bureau of Employment Security
Impact of Automation on Supervisory and Managerial Occu­
pations, May 29,1963.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Adjustments to the Introduction of Office Automation. Bull.
Ho. 1276, May 1960. 86 pp. 50 cents.
Comparative Job Performance by Age: Office Workers.
Bull. Ho. 1273, 1960. 35 pp. 30 cents.
Directory of Hational and International Labor Unions in the
United States, 1963. Bull. Ho. 1395. 93 pp. 50 cents.
Impact of Automation (a collection of 20 articles about tech­
nological change). Bull. Ho. 1287, Hovember 1960. 114
pp. 60 cents.
Impact of Office Automation in the Internal Revenue Service.
Bull. Ho. 1364, July 1963. 74 pp. 45 cents.
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Career Information for
Use in Guidance. Bull. Ho. 1375, 1963-64 ed. 792 pp.
$4.75. Reprints on individual occupations, 5-10 cents.
Occupational Outlook Quarterly: A supplement to the Occu­
pational Outlook Handbook. Subscription price $2.50
for 2 years (8 issues), 35 cents per copy.
1 Government publications can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 20402, at prices listed, with a discount
of 25 percent on orders of 100 copies or more. Publications for which no price is listed
may be obtained from the designated agency.


U.S. Department of Labor—Continued
Bureau of Labor Statistics—Continued
Wages and Related Benefits, Bull. No. 1345-83, Part 1: 82 La­
bor Markets 1962-63. January 1964. 116 pp. 60 cents.
Wages and Related Benefits, Bull. No. 1345-83, Part II: Met­
ropolitan Areas, United States and Regional Summaries,
1962-63. June 1964. 92 pp. 50 cents.
Office of Manpower, Automation, and Training
Reading Machines for Data Processing: Their Prospective
Employment Effects. Manpower Report No. 7. June
1963. 12 pp.
Women’s Bureau
Future Jobs for High School Girls. Pamphlet 7. 1959. 64
pp. 40 cents.
Job Horizons for College Women in the 1960’s. Bull. 288.
1964. 78 pp. 30 cents.
Negro Women Workers in 1960. Bull. 287. 1964. 55 pp.
30 cents.
Part-Time Employment for Women. Bull. 273. 1960. 53
pp. 30 cents.
Suggestions to Women and Girls on Training for Future
Employment. Leaflet 33. 1960. 12 pp. 10 cents.
Training Opportunities for Women and Girls. Bull 274.
1960. 64 pp. 30 cents.
Women in the Federal Service 1939-1959. Pamphlet 4, Re­
vised 1962. 21 pp. 15 cents.
Women Telephone Workers and Changing Technology.
Bull. 286. 1963. 46 pp. 25 cents.
1962 Handbook on Women Workers. Bull. 285. 1963. 202
pp. 50 cents.
U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington,
D.C. 20201
The Trained Dental Assistant. PHS No. 1004. 1963. 8
pp. 15 cents.


Appendix C

American Association of Medical Assistants, Inc.
510 North Dearborn St.
Chicago, 111. 60610
American Dental Assistants Association
410 First National Bank Bldg.
La Porte, Ind. 46350
Executives’ Secretaries, Inc.
340 Pine St.
San F rancisco, Calif. 94104
Future Business Leaders of America
1201 16th St. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Future Secretaries Association
1103 Grand Ave., Suite 410
Kansas City, Mo. 64106
National Association of Educational Secretaries
1201 16th St. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20036
National Association of Legal Secretaries
1312 Fort Worth National Bank Bldg.
Fort Worth, Tex. 76102
National Secretaries Association
1103 Grand Ave., Suite 410
Kansas City, Mo. 64106
The National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s
Clubs, Inc.
2012 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20006


Appendix D

American Federation of Government Employees (AT L CTO)
900 F St. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20004
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
815 Mount Vernon PL NW.
Washington, D.C. 20001
Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers,
Express and Station Employes (AFL-CIO)
1015 Vine St.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Communications Workers of America (AFL-CIO)
1925 K St. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20006
National Federation of Federal Employees (Ind.)
1737 H St. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Office Employes International Union (AFL-CIO)
1012 14th St. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20005
Retail Clerks International Association (AFL-CIO)
Connecticut Ave. and De Sales St. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (AFL-CIO)
132 West 43d St.
New York, N.Y. 10036
United Federation of Postal Clerks (AFL-CIO)
817 14th St. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20005


Appendix E

Agencies recognized by the U.S. Office of Education as accrediting
agencies for private business schools and correspondence schools:
The Accrediting Commission for Business Schools
Schools Center Building
5057 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, Mich. 48202
National Home Study Council
2000 K St. NW.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Agency recognized by the American Dental Association as the ac­
crediting agency for dental assistant educational programs:
Council on Dental Education
222 East Superior St.
Chicago, 111. 60611



Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102